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Marketplace Facilitator

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On April 30, 2021, the Court of Appeals of Maryland held in Travelocity.com LP v. Comptroller of Md., No. 14, 2021 Md. LEXIS 200 (Apr. 30, 2021), that the taxpayer, an online travel company, was not required to collect and remit state sales and use tax prior to the enactment of Maryland’s accommodations intermediary law in 2015. This ruling by the state’s highest court, which overruled the lower courts’ decisions, helps clarify the “pre-accommodations intermediary law” tax obligations of online travel companies, and may also be helpful in understanding the impact of marketplace facilitator law enactments more generally.

State efforts to undermine or challenge the Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992) physical presence standard escalated this summer with the enactment of two sales and use tax laws targeting marketplace operators. Minnesota House File 1 (“H.F. 1”) and Washington House Bill 2163 (“H.B. 2163”), signed into law on May 30, 2017 and July 7, 2017, respectively, impose sales and use tax obligations on certain marketplaces that facilitate the sales of out-of-state third party retailers.  Minnesota and Washington are the first two states to enact such laws, and similar legislation is currently pending in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.