IL & WI Will Require Sales Tax Collection by Internet Sellers

Illinois and Wisconsin, along with 28 other states are acting to pass laws or regulations to require sales tax collection by remote sellers now or in the immediate future.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue has announced that it will require sales tax collection by internet sellers with sales of at least $100,000 or more than 200 transactions annually, effective October 1, 2018.

Illinois adopts a $100,000 or 200-transaction threshold (determined at the end of each March, June, September, and December for the previous 12 months), with an effective date of October 1, 2018. 

On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair that South Dakota can require collection of its sales tax on sales to its residents by out-of-state internet retailers. The new rule, articulated in Wayfair, is that a state sales tax can be constitutionally collected so long as it does not discriminate against or place excessive burdens on those engaging in interstate commerce.

The Court provided a checklist of factors present in South Dakota law that strongly suggested why it would be constitutional under this standard:

  1. Safe harbor: Exclude “those who transact only limited business” in the state. (South Dakota’s is $100,000 in sales or 200 transactions.)
  2. No retroactive collection.
  3. Single state-level administration of all sales taxes in the state.
  4. Uniform definitions of products and services.
  5. Simplified tax rate structure. (South Dakota requires the same tax base between state and local sales tax, has only three sales tax rates, and limited exemptions from the tax.)
  6. Software: access to sales tax administration software provided by the state.
  7. Immunity: sellers who use the software are not liable for errors derived from relying on it.

Since the decision, states have begun considering actions that they might need to take to collect sales tax on internet transactions while adhering to the Wayfair decision.  Legislators may make several policy choices when complying with the Wayfair checklist:

  • Adopt the same threshold as South Dakota ($100,000 in sales or 200 transactions) or a more generous one to account for larger population size or larger economy.
  • Decide when the threshold period is measured.
  • Setting an enforcement start date.
  • Consider repealing click-through nexus and notice-and-reporting laws.
  • Decide how to collect local sales taxes.
  • Decide use of the revenue.

For further information please refer to Post-Wayfair Options for States or contact us today!