States will be able to force more people to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that will leave shoppers with lighter wallets but is a big financial win for states.
The Supreme Court’s opinion Thursday overruled a pair of decades-old decisions that states said cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue annually. The decisions made it more difficult for states to collect sales tax on certain online purchases.
The cases the court overturned said that if a business was shipping a customer’s purchase to a state where the business didn’t have a physical presence such as a warehouse or office, the business didn’t have to collect sales tax for the state. Customers were generally responsible for paying the sales tax to the state themselves if they weren’t charged it, but most didn’t realize they owed it and few paid.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the previous decisions were flawed. “Each year the physical presence rule becomes further removed from economic reality and results in significant revenue losses to the States,” he wrote in an opinion joined by four other justices. Kennedy wrote that the rule “limited states’ ability to seek long-term prosperity and has prevented market participants from competing on an even playing field.”
The ruling is a victory for big chains with a presence in many states, since they usually collect sales tax on online purchases already. Now, rivals will be charging sales tax where they hadn’t before. Big chains have been collecting sales tax nationwide because they typically have physical stores in whatever state a purchase is being shipped to. Amazon.com, with its network of warehouses, also collects sales tax in every state that charges it, though third-party sellers who use the site don’t have to.
Until now, many sellers that have a physical presence in only a single state or a few states have been able to avoid charging sales taxes when they ship to addresses outside those states. Sellers that use eBay and Etsy, which provide platforms for smaller sellers, also haven’t been collecting sales tax nationwide. Under the ruling Thursday, states can pass laws requiring out-of-state sellers to collect the state’s sales tax from customers and send it to the state.
Retail trade groups praised the ruling, saying it levels the playing field for local and online businesses. The losers, said retail analyst Neil Saunders, are online-only retailers, especially smaller ones. Those retailers may face headaches complying with various state sales tax laws. The
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council advocacy group said in a a statement, “Small businesses and internet entrepreneurs are not well served at all by this decision.”
36. The Supreme Court decision Thursday will
A. Dette business’ relutions with states
B. put most online business in a dilemma
C. make more online shoppers pay sales tax
D. forces some states to cut sales tax
37. It can be learned from paragraphs 2 and 3 that the overruled decisions
A. have led to the dominance of e-commerce
B. have cost consumers a lot over the years
C. were widely criticized by online purchases
D. were considered up favorable by states
38. According to Justice Anthony Kennedy, the physical presence rule has
A. hindered economic development
B. brought prosperity to the country
C. harmed fair market competition
D. boosted growth in states revenue
39. Who are most likely to welcome the Supreme Court ruling
A. Internet entrepreneurs B. Big-chain owners
C. Third-party sellers D. Small retailers
40. In dealing with the Supreme Court decision Thursday, the author
A. gives a factual account of it and discusses its consequences
B. describes the long and complicated process of its making
C. presents its main points with conflicting views on them
D. cities some saces related to it and analyzes their implications
36.【C】 make more online shoppers pay sales tax;本题为细节题，根据题干关键字“the Supreme Court decision Thursday”定位到原文第一段“States will be able to force more people to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that ...”前半句已经明确提出各州的在线购物可能要交税，对应选项C，原词“ online”加“ shoppers”对“purchase”的同义替换。其他三个选项均为提及。
37.【D】were considered up favorable by states;根据题干“learned”可知本题为推理题，根据关键字“the overruled decisions ”定位到原文第二段的两句，大意为“州政府抱怨以前的政策使每年税收损失惨重，因此以前的政策很难再收取网上营业税”两句表示出的意思都是对州政府的不利，对比四个选项，得出答案D,州政府认为原政策对州会不利，因此驳回这项决定会对州有有利，为正话反说。
38.【C】harmed fair market competition;本题为细节题，根据题干关键词“Justice Anthony Kennedy”“the physical presence rule”定位到原文第四段的第二句和第三句，大意为实体店规定导致州政府税收亏损，接着下一句Kennedy wrote that the rule “limited states’ ability to seek long-term prosperity and has prevented from on an even playing field.”该规定限制了州政府长期繁荣，并妨碍市场参与者参与公平竞争。对比四个选项，D选项为“破坏了公平市场竞争”和原文“competing”“ market participant”一一对应，为正确答案。
39.【B】Big-chair owners;根据题干“likely”得出本题为推理题，利用关键词“welcome the Supreme Court ruling”定位到原文第五段第一句“ The ruling is a victory for big chains with a presence in many states, since....”对于大公司来说这项规定是一种胜利，因为...，只需找到关键词 “big chain”即可选出B选项：大型连锁公司。
40.【D】cities some cases related to it and analyzes their implications;本题为主旨题，需找出作者的相应观点与论证，根据题干关键词In dealing with the Supreme Court decision Thursday”回顾每段首尾句，推测每段大意，第一段讲述最高法院通过了征收在线营业税的决定，第二段介绍之前的裁决及后果是对州政府不利的，第三段介绍了原来裁决涉及到的案例，第四段陈列了法官的观点，即以前的裁决是有问题的，第五段主要讲述新判决会对大型连锁超市产生有利的影响，第六段讲述新裁决对州外卖价的影响，第七段表示新的判决得到零售界的肯定，因此本文的思路为：首段引出新判决，二三四段列举相关案例，五六七段对其影响进行讲述，对比四个选项，得出D:作者在讲述这个判决时引用了相关案例并分析了他们的影响。