From marketers with millions or billions in annual revenue to the individual who finally decided to sell that "Casablanca" LaserDisc years after getting rid of the player, the case heard Monday by the Supreme Court of the United States may affect all of them. All states may ultimately force all marketers to collect sales tax. But what concerns the plaintiffs—the Direct Marketing Association—even more is that states may also force marketers to turn over information about the buyers, and states may have the right to do so without sellers being able to fight it in federal court. The court is expected to issue a ruling in DMA vs. Brohl by June 2015.
Right now, e-commerce marketers have to keep track of laws in 50 states and collect taxes—or not—accordingly. After Dec. 8, all that could change. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) says it's headed to court—the highest court in the land, to be precise—on that date in order to fight Colorado's law requiring "out-of-state merchants to turn over confidential purchase history information on their Colorado customers." Colorado's law is aimed at collecting its 2.9 percent sales tax from its residents on purchases they make from out-of-state e-commerce marketers.