Small Online Sellers Freak Out After Supreme Court’s Ruling On Sales Taxes

The Internet has been one of the best things to ever happen to small businesses and entrepreneurs, but the latest U.S. Supreme Court decision may end up forcing many of them out of business…

“I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode to see what the actual impact will be for a microbusiness such as mine,” Meslar told CNNMoney. “I am not concerned about profit, just the potential headache,” she added, noting that she might have to comply with tax rates “for, what, 9,000 districts?”

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can compel retailers to collect sales taxes even if they don’t have a physical presence in the state, effectively paving the way for more taxes on online shopping. The ruling was praised by some in the retail industry for clarifying how sales taxes should be handled in the ecommerce era. But for independent vendors who rely on Etsy (ETSY), eBay (EBAY) and other online shopping platforms, the decision leaves more questions than it answers.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of Chicken Little ‘the sky is falling, the sky is falling,'” says Sueanne Shirzay, who operates a shop on Etsy and her personal website selling handmade jewelry. Other sellers she’s spoken with “are afraid they are going to have to do 50 sales tax returns.”

It is hoped that Congress will take action and resolve these issues, but waiting for Congress to do something positive is kind of like waiting for a unicorn to appear…

The Most Important News