The high court on Thursday overturned a 1992 ruling that a retailer must have a physical presence in a state to collect tax from buyers in that state.
"I don't see brick and mortar stores seeing a big benefit from this ruling vis-a-vis their key online competitors", said Brian Kirkell, a principal at RSM that offers audit, tax and consultancy services to businesses including retailers. In the brief, NRF cited a wide variety of software available to automatically collect the sales tax owed, much of its available free or at low cost.
Kennedy argued physical businesses were put at a disadvantage because they were forced to charge a sales tax while online businesses did not, noting the rule "prevented market participants from competing on an even playing field".
This special session, which must end June 27, centers on whether part of a 1 percent sales tax should be continued next month, when the state's sales tax rate is scheduled to drop from 5 percent to 4 percent. A more recent analysis conducted by the United States Government Accountability Office found Missouri may miss out on between $180 - $275 million annually in state and local sales tax.
If you're a big Amazon.com shopper, and live in one of the 45 states with a sales tax, you likely already pay sales tax on some orders.
But e-commerce trade group Netchoice called the ruling a "blow to consumers and small online businesses", according to a statement emailed to Retail Dive. President Donald Trump, who has bashed online retail powerhouse Amazon.com Inc and whose administration backed South Dakota, said on Twitter.
These small retailers will be less impacted by an uptick in prices as they will be able to pass that on to the consumer. The Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) in the Senate and the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) in the House both guide states into SSUTA and establish systems to collect destination-based sales taxes that are fair for everyone. That may change as state laws are modified.
"Retailers have been waiting for this day for more than two decades", said Matthew Shay, chief executive officer of the National Retail Federation.
Writing the majority opinion, Gorsuch and Kennedy agreed that this particular exemption created a "judicially created tax shelter".
"The burden will fall disproportionately on small businesses".
Roberts said the decision should be left to Congress, as they have "more flexibility" to address the issue.
But many smaller online retailers are women, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities who have taken advantage of the protections granted by the Supreme Court and Congress over the years.
Information for this article was contributed by Greg Stohr, Alexa Green, Molly Schuetz and Spencer Soper of Bloomberg News and by Adam Liptak of The New York Times.