SCOTUS 2018 pp 89-98 | Cite as

Wayfair on Internet Taxation

  • Morgan Marietta


Can states charge sales tax on purchases their citizens make online, even when the retailer is located outside the state? This question has tremendous ramifications for American commerce in the Internet era. The constitutional question revolves around the limits of the Commerce Clause—or specifically the Negative or Dormant Commerce Clause—as well as the facts of the contemporary economy in the internet era. The Court ruled that these facts have changed, creating a company’s presence in a state even when there is no physical presence. In this sense, “the Internet’s prevalence and power have changed the dynamics of the national economy.” The Court corrected the “false constitutional premise” of prior decisions, arguing that the social facts of the Internet—and hence of commerce—have clearly changed.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morgan Marietta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

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