Bye bye tax-free Internet shopping (it was great while it lasted)

All my life, I have been lured to the Internet to exploit tax-free online shopping.

But today, this all changes (at least here in the good ol’ USA). The Supreme Court case of the state of South Dakota vs. online retailer Wayfair drops the hammer on collecting state sales tax…

And I quote from this Bloomberg news report:

The U.S. Supreme Court freed states and local governments to start collecting billions of dollars in new sales taxes from online retailers, overturning a ruling that had made much of the internet a tax-free zone and put traditional retailers at a disadvantage.

It used to work like this: online retailers with a physical presence in a state that charged tax must charge tax on Internet sales too.

But, the new tax law makes cross-state purchases taxable, too. For most of us, buying stuff online just got more expensive starting today.

Fun facts: Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire and Delaware – never charge a state sales tax. And for back-to-school wardrobes, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York and Vermont exempt certain clothing, footwear and accessories from state sales tax year round.