Online sales tax generates millions for South Carolina


COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- The US Supreme Court overturned a ruling last year that opened the door for states to collect sales tax from online purchases. In South Carolina, the state has been collecting that tax for the last 7 months and has already generated millions of dollars.

Thousands of shoppers in South Carolina enjoy shopping online for convenience and costs savings.

“It saves my time from traveling and the traffic jams,” said Smitha Daram. Danielle Pinkney, another online shopper, added, “And normally I online shop when I want to find something that’s not sold in the area.”

Many online purchases in the state were exempt from the state sales tax because the retailer did not have a physical presence in the state.

The Exec. Dir. of the SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office explained, “This is an issue that had been going on since the 70s where states could not force retailers who did not have a physical presence in the state to report sales tax.”

In July 2018, the Supreme Court changed that ruling. Retailers without a physical presence are now required to collect state sales tax from online purchases.

“We estimate an annual amount of about $74 million dollars in additional sales tax collections,” continued Rainwater.

The state included a clause that exempts small retailers that sell less than $100,000 annually in the state. Since November, the state has collected about $40 million.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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