Yes, all apologies to those of you hoping to tune in yesterday to the interstate wine shipping case oral arguments in front of Mississippi’s Supreme Court. They’ve been moved to January 15, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
You can tune in then to watch the parties debate the merits of allowing the Uniform Commercial Code to control the place and terms of sale for online wine commerce.
The oral arguments in this wine shipping case can be viewed live on the Mississippi Supreme Court’s website at https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/sc/scoa.php
As alluded to above, the questions here revolve around the applicability of the contracting scheme undertaken by some online alcohol retailers where in an online agreement, the party purchasing in another state agrees that the sale and title transfer at the retailer’s location and then the retailer is appointed an agent to ship the wine/spirits/beer to the customer.
So the argument from the online retailer is “hey, I’m just an agent for this lady so she is really shipping her wine to … herself.”
Again, if this holds water, then why wouldn’t the Wayfair decision go by the wayside with many retailers choosing to just set up in states where no sales tax is charged, and have similar contractual arrangements arguing that in the end, they’re just doing the same by shipping and selling purchases to online customers for the customers, thereby not only avoiding other states’ sales tax, but also avoiding it all together.