Minnesota to e-retailers: Start collecting taxes soon

An ad seen on the Best Buy website for a Cyber Monday sale
An ad seen on the Best Buy website for a Cyber Monday sale is displayed on laptop computers on November 27, 2017.
Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan | Getty Images 2017

Online shoppers in Minnesota won't be able to escape sales taxes much longer under guidance issued Wednesday.

Minnesota's Department of Revenue said e-retailers have until Oct. 1 to start collecting and turning over sales taxes in connection with Minnesota purchases. Some online sellers already charge sales taxes if they have a physical presence in the state, too.

But a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling gave states the power to require sales taxes even for remote vendors or those that operate through a virtual marketplace.

There is a small seller exception for those with fewer than 100 transactions in a year or until the value of 10 or more sales tops $100,000.

The change in practice is expected to net Minnesota's treasury between $130 million and as much as $200 million in additional taxes each year.

One candidate for governor, DFLer Erin Murphy, already seized on the new revenue stream. She said Wednesday that she would try to divert more than $100 million per year toward expanding high-speed internet access in greater Minnesota.

"For too long, we have talked about the importance of broadband at the Capitol without the investment needed to address the scope of the challenge," Murphy said in a news release.

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