Law Levels Playing Field On Sales Tax

A new South Carolina law will help level the playing field in the payment of Sales Taxes between brick and mortar stores and online businesses.
The Marketplace Facilitator Act (S.214) clarifies and reinforces Sales Tax collection requirements for those who facilitate retail sales.
The new law coincides with South Carolina’s longstanding Sales Tax policy that requires retailers including marketplace facilitators to remit Sales and Use Tax on all retail sales of tangible personal property not otherwise excluded or exempted, according to the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office.
Gov. Henry McMaster signed the legislation on April 26. The Senate passed the legislation in March while the House passed it in April. The bill cleared both bodies by overwhelming numbers.
The new law states that “with the changing economy and ever expanding role of the Internet in the retail market, the longstanding requirement in the sales and use tax law that a retailer remit the tax on retail sales of tangible personal property owned by another person must apply to all retailers, including both Internet retailers and brick and mortar retailers.”
The new law defines “marketplace facilitators” and requires that if a facilitator is made up of multiple entities, the entity that lists or advertises or allows the listing or advertising, of products sold at retail in the marketplace is responsible for collecting and remitting Sales and Use Tax to SCDOR.
A marketplace, under the law, “may be physical or electronic and includes, but is not limited to, any space, store, booth, catalog, website, television or radio broadcast, or similar place, medium, or forum.”
Marketplace facilitators are defined under the new law as “any person engaged in the business of facilitating a retail sale of tangible personal property by listing or advertising, or allowing the listing or advertising of, the products of another person in any marketplace where sales at retail occur; and collecting or processing payments from the purchaser, either directly or indirectly through an agreement or arrangement with a third party.”
The new law became effective with the signing by the governor.
“The SCDOR is pleased with the passage of S. 214 because it provides helpful clarification and modernization of South Carolina’s Sales and Use Tax laws as they relate to online retail sales and e-commerce,” said SCDOR Director Hartley Powell. “It ensures that all online retailers collect and remit Sales and Use Tax on all sales, just like the brick-and-mortar stores.”
According to the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, a fiscal impact of the new law is “undeterminable” because the amount of non-compliance by retailers with the state’s sales tax law is “not easily known or measured.”