eBay Files Amicus Brief On Internet Sales Tax

April 4, 2018

Today eBay, together with 51 small business sellers, filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court on behalf of these small businesses. The Supreme Court has recently taken up a review of South Dakota v. Wayfair, a case related to Internet sales tax. Specifically, the High Court will revisit its 1992 decision in Quill v. North Dakota by considering a range of state tax policies aimed at undermining the well-established Quill physical presence standard. This standard only requires retailers with a physical presence in a state or locality to collect and remit sales taxes when present there. 

Our amicus brief is an attempt to illuminate the hardships Internet-enabled small businesses will face in the event that the court overturns its prior decision in Quill. Overturning Quill will make it harder for small sellers to engage in interstate commerce and will deprive existing small sellers of the investments they have made in reliance on existing law. The brief includes some statistics about small Internet-enabled businesses, and highlights stories from a few eBay sellers about the practical difficulties created by a change in existing law. In addition, the brief lays out some legal arguments about due process and other constitutional law considerations. 

eBay firmly believes that the Internet is critical for small businesses to stay competitive and grow, reach beyond local markets, and be found by customers anywhere in the world.  We do not believe that independent small businesses should be taxed in a state where they do not have facilities, employees, or a voice in the local political process, which is the premise of South Dakota v. Wayfair. As we have done for close to two decades, eBay will continue to fight for tax legislation that is fair to small Internet-enabled business.