Taxation of Internet Sales

As more and more purchases are made over the Internet, states are looking for new ways to collect taxes on these sales. While there is a common misperception that states cannot tax Internet sales, the reality is that they may impose sales and use taxes on such transactions, even when the retailer is outside of the state. However, if the seller does not have a constitutionally sufficient connection (“nexus”) to the state, then the seller is under no enforceable obligation to collect a use tax.  This Congressional Research Report looks at the Constitutionality of these efforts by states.

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