Supreme Court hears arguments over sales tax

Supreme Court hears arguments over sales tax

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Supreme Court judges are hearing arguments about a 1992 court case dealing with statewide sales taxes on online purchases.

Depending on the outcome could impact online shoppers, sellers, and even local governments. And you may end up having to pay more taxes for things you buy online.

Karen Fiorino, a Southern Illinois business owner, has her shop named Clay Lick Creek Pottery, online. She is worried about what this could mean for her livelihood.

"I don't want to spend my time doing paperwork all the time, I'd rather be out here making stuff," Fiorino said.

She pays a state sales tax to Illinois because her business is in Makanda, Ill. However, if the case South Dakota vs. Wayfair is overturned by the Supreme Court, it could mean big changes for her business.

"It'll affect small business owners like me more because we are just a single person operation or a few persons operations having to figure out all 50 tax laws of this country," Fiorino said.

Her business is also on Etsy, she offers bowls, flowers, cups and more.

She said she sells to every state in the U.S. However, with the booming online shopping nationwide, state and local government say they are missing out on millions of sales taxes dollars.

It's not just online retailer, but one online buyer, Charles Thomas says they may start looking for other options as well.

"I think I would probably try and find more local options so I wouldn't have to pay the additional taxes from the other states and stuff," Thomas said.

All in all, Fiorino says it won't stop her from doing her business.

"I just hope it makes it easy," Fiorino said. "If they do pass it and they do collect it, I hope it makes it. Yeah, it has to be easy or else it's not going to happen."

As more and more people shop online, the opportunity for the additional taxes is increasing. 
According to the General Accountability Office last year, states could have collected almost $13.4 B in additional online sales taxes.

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