Remote Sellers

NAA involvement with U.S. Supreme Court case "South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc."

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Do you know of any regulatory or legislative changes regarding remote sellers sales tax collection in your state? Please let us know!


What is South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.?

In March 2017, the State of South Dakota passed a law with the intent to collect South Dakota sales tax on any taxable item purchased outside the state if the buyer takes possession of the purchased item within the border of South Dakota, i.e., has the item shipped. This includes items purchased in person at brick-and-mortar stores or auctions, as well as online at sites like,, or online auctions. This law has been challenged, and the U.S. Supreme Court chose to hear arguments.

Currently, a business must have a physical presence in a state for that state to require said business to collect sales tax. This is based on a ruling by the Supreme Court in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota.

How does this affect you and the auction industry?

Many auction companies currently have auctions with buyers from out of state. If it stands, auction companies that do business in South Dakota would be tasked with the enormous burden of determining the applicable sales tax, collecting it, and remitting it to the buyer’s local taxing jurisdiction. In March 2014, there were 9,998 tax jurisdictions. (See the above graphic.)

Each time you sold an item to a buyer located in a different state, you’d need to determine the applicable sales tax, collect, and then remit the tax to the buyer’s local taxing jurisdiction. To do so, you will be required to hold a sales tax license in each state in which buyers purchase items from you, and in most cases a corresponding business license. By doing so, you will be subject to that jurisdiction's regulations and police powers.

More importantly, this case has many eyes on it. In fact, 25 other states have similar pending legislation. And, 35 states filed a brief in this case in support of South Dakota.

What is an Amicus brief? Why is that important?

An Amicus brief is a legal document that advises the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that the court might wish to consider, including unforeseen ramifications.

How you can be involve

You can submit questions to Ailie Byers, John Schultz, or Hannes Combest.

*NAA will keep constant watch and provide updates as they become available through email, the NAA Facebook page, the NAA Auction Professionals Facebook Group, and Auctioneer magazine.*