So starting with the supreme court decision here: https://apnews.com/332abb7455cb4b60b2effc0852ff3c89
You’ve already got the first order reactions of people worried about how this will effect themselves directly. Obviously the courts making a decision that something might be possible isn’t the same as legislation or execution. It’s kinda “wait and see”, but I find it all interesting.
I live in one of the worst states for this, as I know well from writing a bunch of financial/tax software. The model is basically dated back to the brick and mortar era only. In 2017 they finally standardized some of the formatting to accommodate some of the exemptions for particular items. And there are a ton of districts. Like take this: https://dor.mo.gov/pdf/rates/2018/jul2018.pdf and then depending on the type of merchandise and the business (and holidays) you end up with several thousand lines on a return potentially. Weekly and Monthly payments and pre-payments (vs whatever other states do). Oh and to button it all up nobody talks about it but if you pay on time you get to keep 2% of the remittance on the sales tax… so technically you get paid slightly to collect it if your costs are lower.
I wrote software plugging into various APIs to attempt to pull this down and automate it. And other people handled any sort of licensing and actually paying amounts/accounting. That was at a mid-sized company (150+ employees). And we often had specific municipalities coming back to us with various specifics, because we obviously had a very complex return. Amazon on the other hand negotiated to only have to remit the state portion of sales tax after they agreed to build a facility here… which is also shady for different reasons.
Possibly 3rd party products will get you most of the way there, but what’s that going to cost? Better solutions would be for states to clean up and standardize their systems, maybe get a federal ID system for it instead of every state running it’s own thing… though I’m not sure how that butts up against the commerce clause.
Incredibly boring subject, but definitely on my mind today.