Emory Law Journal


Rubinder Bal


With the surge in online shopping, use tax has become an increasingly elusive source of tax revenue for states. The constitutional constraints of due process and the Commerce Clause establish limits that often frustrate states¿ attempts to impose tax collection obligations on remote retailers. In Quill, the Court held that a state could only impose a collection obligation on a retailer that was physically present in the taxing state. This Comment analyzes post-Quill cases that exemplify the absurdity of treating local retailers differently from remote retailers that economically exploit the same market. The Comment then considers, and ultimately rejects, four alternative mechanisms that have been proposed by scholars. The Comment concludes by proposing a novel solution, which shifts the burden of use tax collection away from remote retailers and onto the consumer, allowing states to circumvent the Commerce Clause obstacle altogether.