The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to tackle the long-standing question of whether Internet retailers like Amazon.com should be required to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence.
In a case brought by Amazon and Overstock.com, the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether a New York state law that requires online retailers to collect taxes is valid under the U.S. Constitution. Because the court declined to hear the case, the retailers' challenge to that law has failed.
With Congress not taking action on the issue, courts have been intervening case by case in a long-running struggle between state governments and major online retailers.
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In a March ruling, the New York Court of Appeals said Amazon and Overstock could be compelled by the state to collect tax from online sales. Both companies sought the high court's review of the ruling, citing the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which limits the power of states to regulate interstate commerce.