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Supreme Court Overturns Quill’s Physical Presence Requirement

Published on June 22, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 21 held that states can assert nexus for sales and use tax purposes without requiring a seller’s physical presence in the state. The decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al, No. 17-494 (U.S. 6/21/2018), overturns prior Supreme Court precedent in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992), and National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Ill., 386 U.S. 753 (1967), both of which had required retailers to have a physical presence in a state beyond merely shipping goods into a state after an order from an in-state resident before a state could require the seller to collect sales taxes from in-state customers. The Court concluded that each decision was an “incorrect interpretation of the Commerce Clause” (slip op. at 10). Read more about this decision in the Journal of Accountancy here