online tax collection

Madelyn Beck / Illinois Newsroom

Dave Plunk has run Music Makers in Galesburg for more than 15 years, occupying two floors of a three-story building on the town’s main street with rows of guitars, amps and other music equipment.

NPR Illinois 91.9 | UIS

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on online shopping left two things clear – consumers who buy online will have to pay sales tax on more items, and some states will see more money from those online purchases.

NPR Illinois 91.9 | UIS

Legislation to expand Illinois’ sales tax for online shopping recently passed the Senate. But it faces several more hurdles before it could become law.

Jamey Dunn headshot
mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

A year after Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill aimed at collecting sales tax from online retailers, the state is still struggling to get revenues from sellers such as Amazon.com, and it seems that Illinois and other states may be out of luck until a federal solution can be found. 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that states could not make businesses outside of their borders collect tax on purchases made by state residents. But if a business has a brick and mortar presence in a state, such as a store, it must collect state taxes on catalog and Internet sales in the state, too. 

One Illinois business intends to leave the state before a new plan to collect taxes on Internet sales takes effect in July. “I don’t have a choice,” says Tim Storm, chief executive officer of FatWallet, an Internet marketing company. “It’s a situation where I can’t take a hit on 40 percent of our revenue and continue to operate in the state of Illinois.”