Missouri loses about $468 million per year in uncollected sales tax on purchases made over the Internet, according to researchers at the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs.
The state misses the money in part because it hasn't signed onto a 1999 agreement to simplify and encourage voluntary collection of sales taxes by e-commerce retailers, The Kansas City Star reported. Only about half of the states have signed the agreement.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot levy sales and use taxes on businesses that don't have a store, office or other physical location in the state. Missouri consumers are technically required to pay taxes on purchases from outside the state, but almost none comply.
To remedy that situation, the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures created the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax, which is meant to simplify sales tax collection across jurisdictions that have varying tax rates.