Supreme Court Sales Tax Case Should Help Book Industry via
As the Supreme Court weighs arguments in a case before it about whether Internet sales can be taxed just like a purchase at the mall, book publishing insiders anxiously await their decision. Will a vote to tax online sales impact the book industry, and if so, how?
On the positive side, if Net sales are treated like those at a physical store, a boost will be given to the tax proceeds collected by the government. The e-commerce world is huge and growing bigger by the day, and without a change to the law, billions of dollars each year will go uncollected for roads, safety, education, elder care, healthcare, and all of the valuable services a government can and should provide.
In 2002, with the Internet into its second decade of existence, 45 billion dollars of goods were purchased online. The amount doubles every five years. It actually tripled in 2007 to 136 billion, then doubled in 2012 to 230 billion and doubled again in 2017 to nearly 453 billion. In 2018, it exceeds half a trillion dollars.
Some of the Net transactions get taxed today. The law says if you have an office or a physical presence in the state, you must tax goods sold to people living there. Only recently did Amazon volunteer to collect taxes in most states. Many of the big retailers – with a physical and digital presence – have their goods taxed. But many Internet-only and smaller businesses do not charge sales tax.