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View Diary: Senate moves forward to close online sales tax loophole over Grover Norquist's objections (230 comments)

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  •  I suspect a lot of people taking advantage (0+ / 0-)

    of this are the kinds of people who can afford an internet connection, can afford to have a large number of things delivered to their house because someone is at home during working hours, and can afford to wait for something because they don't need it immediately.  You know, non-poor people.

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:32:52 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, I suspect wealthy people (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bill W, stevemb, nextstep, VClib

      have been paying the tax.  Wealthy people have accountants do their state tax returns, and many state income tax forms specifically ask for this.  An accountant would risk his/her license if they left the line blank, or put in a false number, when they knew it was not true.

      Even people who use Turbo Tax know about it, at least.  When it comes time for a state return, if the state has a sales tax, most have a line on the return asking for your out of state purchases where you didn't pay sales taxes, so Turbo Tax will specifically ask about that.  If you tell Turbo Tax "none," and that's reflected on your return, that's tax fraud.  

      •  Maryland (0+ / 0-)

        doesn't have a space for it on the state tax return, which makes it even less likely people are actually going to pay it. We technically are supposed to submit a use tax form quarterly, but I've never seen the form and have certainly never filed one. The state comptroller has said that he won't enforce the tax because its such a burden on consumers.

      •  It's pocket change for the wealthy. (1+ / 0-)
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      •  Interesting thing about TurboTax... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When you've finished entering your numbers, it runs a check for "red flags" that are likely to trigger an audit.  Home office deduction, old car donated to charity, that kind of thing.  I have it on very good authority that leaving the "use tax" field blank does not trigger TurboTax's audit risk indicator.

        About twenty years ago, I actually got dinged by the state for a mail-order purchase.  It seems that the electronics store I bought a fax machine from was engaged in some kind of federal fraud, and in the course of the investigation I guess their sales records were shared with my state.  Anyway, I got a bill from the state treasury for fifty bucks or so for sales tax due.  Not sure what the statute of limitations is on something like that, but just imagine if states decided to go after present and past unpaid sales taxes.

        •  I suspect that's correct (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bill W, VClib

          But if your tax form has that question, you still have to make a decision what to put on that line, or whether to leave it blank.  And if you made out-of-state purchases without the seller collecting sales tax, and you leave it blank, that's tax fraud.  

          If you buy a lot from a single entity, like Amazon, it's not that hard to figure out, since you can go to your account and see all your purchases for the year.  I also look at my credit card statement for the past year (since that's what I use for online purchases) and I can see pretty quickly which online purchases were from a seller that does not have a presence in my state and so would not have collected sales tax.  

          Maybe I'm a sucker for following what the law requires me to do (since I probably would never get caught if I didn't), but that's what I do.

        •  TurboTax prob does not flag CA sales tax (1+ / 0-)
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          as TurboTax puts less functionality into the states such as help, copy of state tax instructions etc.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:46:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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