SALT Report 2018-9 – The Rhode Island Department of Taxation has released the following response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision. Rhode Island is a Streamline State with a Notification Law in effect. They are inviting taxpayers to call them. The text of the announcement follows:
TAX ADMINISTRATOR’S STATEMENT JUNE 27, 2018
RHODE ISLAND RESPONSE TO U.S .SUPREME COURT’S WAYFAIR DECISION
Until now, the U.S. Supreme Court’s position was this: A state could require a retailer to
collect and remit that state’s sales tax only if the retailer had a physical presence in that
state. Therefore, as a practical matter, many online retailers did not collect sales tax.
Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision means that a state can require a retailer to collect
and remit the state’s sales tax – including online retailers that have no physical presence in
Rhode Island legislation enacted in 2017 generally gave online retailers a choice: collect and
remit Rhode Island sales tax, or provide notices to consumers that they may owe the tax. As
a result of the legislation enacted in 2017, a number of online retailers have registered with
the Division of Taxation and have begun to collect and remit Rhode Island sales tax.
Online retailers who, in light of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, would like to
register with the Division of Taxation, obtain a sales permit, and begin collecting and
remitting Rhode Island sales tax, may use the Division’s “Business Application and
Registration” form: http://www.tax.ri.gov/forms/2017/Misc/TX_BAR_092017.pdf. Online
retailers (or others) with questions about registering with the Division of Taxation and
remitting Rhode Island sales and use tax should call (401) 574-8955. The Division is open to
the public from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time business days.
RHODE ISLAND REDUCES BURDEN OF COMPLIANCE
It should also be noted that Rhode Island, as a member state of the Streamlined Sales Tax
Governing Board, has become a more attractive place to do business because, like other
Streamlined states, Rhode Island has simplified its sales and use tax administration in order
to substantially reduce the burden of tax compliance. (Rhode Island is one of 24 states
nationwide that have adopted simplification measures in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax
We look forward to working with the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, and with all
of our stakeholders, to ensure that the results of last week’s Supreme Court decision are
1 South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al. No. 17–494. Decided June 21, 2018.
2 There are 23 full member states and one associate member state