Online Textbook Sales Effected by Supreme Court Ruling

In the past, if a company didn’t have a physical location in your state, it didn’t have to collect sales tax on your online orders. Thanks to the Supreme Court, now all companies and all consumers will have to pay sales tax on internet sales, including textbooks.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote Thursday’s majority decision, and five of the nine SCOTUS judges all agreed that Quill was obsolete and that it unfairly disadvantaged brick-and-mortar stores. Indeed, it was helping to kill them.

This will be a boon to states seeking to increase their revenue and a benefit to the last-standing brick-and-mortar stores. On the down-side, it will prove a curse to consumers seeking the lowest possible prices, and a potential death sentence to small e-commerce businesses, which don’t have the software tools needed to deal with 50 sets of new tax regulations.