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South Carolina

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States continue to provide relief in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  This week, numerous states responded to the federal income tax filing extension, and we expect additional states to respond in the coming days.  Some states are also offering relief for non-income business taxes, and much of the relief is limited to small- to mid-size businesses.  Furthermore, COVID-19 is causing complications in property tax assessments, payments, and appeals.

Since our previous blog post, several more states have provided tax relief by extending filing and payment deadlines in response to the COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) outbreak.  However, numerous state tax departments are also canceling in-person customer service, which could make it more difficult for taxpayers to receive timely answers to their filing questions.  We are also seeing the continued impact of COVID-19 on state and local tax litigation as more state courts and administrative tribunals adjourn hearing dates or move to conduct certain proceedings remotely.

The World Health Organization has officially declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic. In addition to the cost on human life, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has left a trail of economic damage affecting business revenues. COVID-19 has caused complete or partial shutdown of factories, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages, and has impacted demand in certain industries. This impact will also be felt by U.S. state, and local governments.

Baker McKenzie attended the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral arguments yesterday in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Docket No. 17-494.  At issue in the case is whether the Court should abrogate the physical presence nexus standard that it first articulated in National Bellas Hess v. Dep’t of Revenue, 386 U.S. 753 (1967), and later affirmed in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992).  The Court’s decision could have a profound impact on sales and use tax nexus in the United States by altering the limitations currently imposed on a state’s ability to require out-of-state retailers to collect such tax.