Does Physical Presence In Taxing State Required Under Due Process Clause ?
In Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298, 309, 119 L. Ed. 2d 91, 112 S. Ct. 1904 (1992) the Supreme Court looked to personal jurisdiction law in evaluating whether North Dakota violated the Due Process Clause in assessing tax against Quill. See Quill Corp., 504 U.S. at 307.
Quill Corp. declares unequivocally that physical presence in the taxing state is not required under the Due Process Clause. See id. at 308.
Instead, the Court stated that the relevant exercise is a "flexible inquiry into whether a defendant's contacts with the forum made it reasonable, in the context of our federal system of Government, to require it to defend the suit in that state"; the inquiry is directed at whether the "defendant had minimum contacts with the jurisdiction such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." Id. at 307 (quoting International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 90 L. Ed. 95, 66 S. Ct. 154 (1945); and Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 463, 85 L. Ed. 278, 61 S. Ct. 339 (1940)) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Adopting this rule from the law governing in personam jurisdiction, Quill Corp. held the Due Process Clause did not bar a use tax imposed against a mail-order vendor "that is engaged in continuous and widespread solicitation of business within the state," al though the vendor did so by interstate communication and was not physically present in the state. See 504 U.S. at 308.