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WCVB – Mass. push to force online retailers to charge sales tax hits snag

WCVB – Mass. push to force online retailers to charge sales tax hits snag

The administration said at the time that the change could be made without legislation, but NetChoice and the American Catalog Mailers Association filed a lawsuit challenging the directive. After a hearing in Suffolk Superior Court on Wednesday where the plaintiffs were seeking an injunction to block sales tax collections from beginning on July 1, Heffernan rescinded the directive before the judge could rule.

That lawsuit has now been withdrawn, but NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco said the e-commerce trade association will not hesitate to refile the lawsuit if the administration does not relent on the policy.

“I’m surprised to learn that the state plans to go right back to a policy that clearly violates the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act and longstanding legal precedent and if they do come back to this approach we will refile our lawsuit and look forward to another winning day in court,” DelBianco told the News Service on Thursday.

Just a day earlier, NetChoice had issued a celebratory statement, calling the decision by Heffernan to rescind the directive an action that would “greatly benefit Massachusetts consumers as well as Bay State small businesses looking to sell across the country.”

“We hope that other states take notice of today’s decision by Commissioner Heffernan and follow his lead,” he said.

DelBianco strong disagrees: “I don’t see how any court will agree that electrons flowing into a computer or smartphone comes anywhere near a physical presence,” he said.