Skip to comments.Wisconsin: State urging online buyers to pay tax
Posted on 02/05/2012 4:09:11 PM PST by Jean S
Letter, new form reminding taxpayers of their obligation
Wisconsin taxpayers could find themselves digging through more receipts than usual this tax season as the state Department of Revenue makes another effort to collect taxes on out-of-state purchases.
In a letter, the department is asking taxpayers to look through their records from 2007 to 2010 to find any taxes on out-of-state purchases that may have been overlooked and send in payments by Feb. 17.
"The real mission is to help make sure (taxpayers) understand tax law and to remind taxpayers about their responsibility to pay the use tax," said Jennifer Western, executive assistant at the Department of Revenue.
Western also said the goal of the annual letter is to gain more voluntary compliance when it comes to paying sales and use tax. This latest effort comes simultaneously with a modified state income tax return. The new form notes that taxpayers are required to pay tax in cases where sales taxes were not collected at the time of purchase from an online retailer.
When a consumer makes an online purchase but is not charged sales tax at the time, they owe a use tax because they will be using the product in Wisconsin. A report from the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates there will be about $62 million in uncollected use tax for 2012.
(Excerpt) Read more at jsonline.com ...
As a responsible citizen of Wisconsin, I'll be cooperating fully, not.
Do they think we're really that stupid?
We're drowning in government.
Ping to Wisconsin Freepers.
“Do they think we’re really that stupid?”
No, but the cost of the letters is probably more than made up for in the tiny bit of compliance they get. Where it gets nastier is what other states are starting to do - which is make you declare on your state income tax form that you have indeed paid all sales and use tax owed.
...then it will just be a matter of getting Amazon’s records and seeing just how honest a given taxpayer has been.
Not as easy to do here in Texas (LOL) as we don’t have an state income tax, and thus we don’t have a way to declare anything.
Just a friendly gesture for the state of Wisconsin in recommending an appropriate response to this.
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Whereas an out of state purchase encounters none of these services. I could possibly see an argument made that if the item is purchased from a particular state, they can charge sales taxes on the item even if it is shipped out of state. No one wants to do that, because as soon as a state does it, online stores will flee it in droves in favor of a state that doesn't charge such taxes.
I wish state legislatures would pay even half as much attention to embezzlement by public employees through high benefits, high salaries and bonuses as they pay towards the ‘capture’ of taxes they feel they are owed. Job one should be the care of the people's money - then maybe you can start worrying about tax evaders.
Thanks Jean S.
I’d be glad to pay the sales tax if the state will pay my shipping.
Dear government: urge THIS
Jean S: “Do they think we’re really that stupid?”
1) Paying taxes that are due is the moral thing to do.
2) An unenforced tax that relies on voluntary compliance both penalizes the moral and encourages the dishonest.
What about those taxes on stuff I bought at garage sales? More taxes means more tax evasion and the black market.
I am sure the Wisconsin paupers will do it as a token to their Marxist overseers.
Are you for real? Would you mind explaining what is so moral about a “use tax”?
Explain. Is handing over your wallet to the robber the moral thing to do, or simply the prudent one?
It beats NYS’ method of ASSUMING you bought stuff on which you didn’t pay sales/use tax and just charge use tax based upon income....
We moved from NYS in 2010 and are filing for the last part of unemployment/severance pay and they want $68 use tax... we can’t get out of it...ARGHHH
I’m so glad this is the LAST year we have to file NYs tax!!!
...then it will just be a matter of getting Amazons records and seeing just how honest a given taxpayer has been.
Yes. I’m for real. I didn’t say the Wisconsin Use Tax itself is moral. I think use taxes are very bad law, because they aren’t enforceable, penalize those who comply because they believe in following the law (or fear getting caught), and reward those who choose not to pay and aren’t held to account for it.
As far as complying with the law, I give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. In other words, I comply with use taxes even though I don’t agree with them, probably wouldn’t get caught if I ignored them, and would certainly vote to eliminate them.
Count yourself lucky if you only have to pay $68. I’ve heard worse horror stories from ex-Californicate residents who have moved to Texas or other non-income tax states.
Well, I pay my taxes, too. but only because I feel no need to go to prison. As for what is Caesar's, as I have often said before, he and I have serious disagreements about what that is.
>> In other words, I comply with use taxes even though I dont agree with them, probably wouldnt get caught if I ignored them, and would certainly vote to eliminate them.
I agree with you. I hate taxes and do everything *legal* within my power to avoid them.
Nevertheless, I pay what I owe.
There is an eternal reward for doing that which is lawful and righteous.
chesley: “Well, I pay my taxes, too.”
Then we seem to agree. I don’t like the use tax. It’s ridiculous to expect people to keep receipts for all out-of-state purchases and submit payment. The vast majority don’t comply, and so it makes those who pay seem like fools. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to obey even bad laws so long as they don’t violate my faith. I try to do the right thing even when no one is watching, but lawmakers are foolish if they think that’s a good basis for ensuring compliance with any law. Most people, in other words, will simply ignore it.
BTW, use taxes aren’t primarily directed toward individuals. They’re typically written for businesses that buy out-of-state merchandise for business use. Since businesses keep detailed records of their purchases, it’s easier to enforce their compliance.
Your picture summed it up perfectly! No law should make one feel like a fool when they comply. Except in my case, I’d rather be a fool for Christ and do the right thing.
My state had a Use Tax amnesty going back some years. I went back through my records and submitted my best estimation for the years I could. Some things my wife and I got for others and helped reduce the bill.
We've been submitting our best knowledge of the use tax each year since. It's the right thing to do if I chose to live in such a state.
For my job, I can't take a chance of something looking the least bit illegal coming out of the woodwork at some random future time.
I hope at least a few politicians read this site, because use taxes are a joke for the reasons I listed. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the tax code was designed to make everyone criminals. They don’t make it easy to comply even when one wants to do the right thing.
I used to have to send a form to the state of WI for my business quarterly to declare (and pay) any tax I owed for out of state purchases for office supplies, etc. for my business. Materials used in building a product we build for resale are not taxed. So, this report and tax were for office supplies, etc. As a result I make it a practice to never buy from businesses (such as Quill which is in IL) who don’t charge me tax at the point of purchase. It is just too much trouble to figure out taxes owed.
I no longer am required to file that form. I don’t know why that changed, but I’m glad. If you forget to file it, they just assess an arbitrary tax. So I’d go from $0 tax owed to their estimate of $800 tax owed. Ouch!
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My wife and I sold our house in California in 2003 and moved to Indiana. A few months later, California tried to mail us an add-on property tax statement. We told them to forget it.