Skip to comments.Amazon.com will start collecting sales tax in Virginia (September 1st)
Posted on 09/04/2013 6:24:46 AM PDT by Perdogg
Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration has reached a deal withAmazon.com Inc. for the giant online retailer to start collecting sales taxes in Virginia.
The agreement calls for Amazon to start collecting the taxes of purchases made by Virginians on Sept. 1, 2013.
(Excerpt) Read more at articles.wdbj7.com ...
If you buy anything from Amazon, the sales tax will be charged and collected now in VA.
just bought a refrigerator via Amazon last month, glad we beat the sales tax on that big ticket item.
If it is a energy star appliance you may be able to deduct the sales tax on your state taxes.
After CA figured out how to presssure Amazon to collect those taxes the rest will follow, CA first, VA second.
That is why Amazon wants that Senate tax enforcement bill passed now, just as Walmarts does,.
This is chance for smaller online sales companies to take advantage that they cant be similarly pressured as easily.
At the time, I wasn’t even thinking of the sales tax savings when we ordered it. my contractor said to check amazon for the best prices on appliances, so we did and that’s why i ordered the refrigerator on there. If we weren’t doing a kitchen remodel with the contractor on site, i don’t know if it would have been practical.
If your state has nothing Amazon in it, you won’t pay the sales tax. At least that is what happened in Texas.
Well no need to buy anything from Amazon now really is there? You know why the state comptrollers want access to this huge cash cow. Expect even more corruption. There will never be enough money when prostitutes are involved.
Theoretically you are supposed to report it anyway :)
Started in Georgia Sept 1st too...
report what? the sales tax? how and to whom? are you an accountant? bc i am a lawyer and i have no idea what you do with it? LOL!
There is a line on your VA tax return to report any out of state or non-taxed purchases so you can calculate the “use” tax you owe to VA.
Because I live so close too Maryland, I do a good bit of shopping there and have been repeatedly informed by FReepers I am required to report all of those purchases.
our accountant does our taxes and she has never asked for that information, so i had no clue.
Coming soon to Florida on account of Gov. Rick Scott’s successful bid to bring their warehousing operations down here. Lovely!
I don’t bother with it, as Maryland’s sales tax is higher than ours.
I tried last year, after many FReepers pointed out that I was being a tax cheat. However, my accountant advised against it since I couldn't show all the records of on line purchases, and was trying to estimate it.
ha! i didn’t realize that this was a hotbutton issue with freepers. if my accountant doesn’t see it as an issue, i won’t be bothered by the sensibilities of freepers : )
I will still buy from Amazon till they collect from my lib state Maryland simply because its easy and a good deal and it serves the purpose I state below.
They might be able to still sell cheaper than competitors that dont collect the tax but avoiding Maryland sales taxes is very important to me. Its a rare chance to stiff the ‘never ending raise taxes’ one party state.
This just means more sales from websites other than amazon.
the trade deficit will just get worse.
what next sales tax on 3d printed objects?
Thanks, I included GA on the topics list.
I report it because I am the type that would get caught if I did not.
Barnes and Nobel and Underarmour collects taxes on their sites. I believe all of the department stores do as well.
Virginia... a once great AMERICAN state.
Gotta love soft conservatives like Bob. The problem I have with the idea is it is wrong headed. If I go to FL and buy a refrigerator I’m not required to pay VA state taxes on it even if I bring it back into the state. I will have course paid FL taxes on it. The only justification for state taxes applied to the internet is that taxes be collected in the state where the online vendor operates its business which I find reasonable though of course that model would cause internet retailers to base operations in low state tax states which I believe would be good. States would then compete for online retailer business. That of course is not what is wanted. The powers at be instead want to be able to force an online business in VA to collect taxes not just for the state it operates in but for potentially all 50 states which of course will have the affect of forcing the smaller businesses out of business while Amazon grows and grows.
Here is an example:
These types of things aren’t enforced usually because of obvious reasons which is why they are targeting big online retailers which of course is why big online retailers are lobbying Congress with big $ so the circle of corruption remains unbroken.
Interestingly enough there are 5 states without use taxes.
Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon
they have in state stores.
the solution is to buy the same stuff out of country or state.
these are “I got mine” legislation/taxes
Why? Now you have to keep track of that purchase, and do the “use tax” on your Virginia state income tax. That’s harder than having Amazon collect it.
Otherwise, you can’t sign your income tax form where it says you have truthfully filled in all the information. Because if you do say you filled it in, and you put “0 dollars” for your use tax amount, you will be committing perjury, and since you just confessed to the purchase publicly, it will be hard for you to argue that you didn’t buy it.
Sadly, the state sales tax will still increase, unless they change the law or congress passes the sales tax collection act.
I think that with Amazon collecting the sales tax, that should be sufficient for the state to rescind the tax increase they voted on to cover the loss of tax revenue from tax cheaters.
If you buy things in Maryland, you are paying Maryland sales tax. Since Maryland sales tax is higher than Virginia, you should not have to report any purchases from Maryland.
You only have to report purchases if the sales tax is either not collected, or is less than the Virginia tax, and you bring the items you purchased back into Virginia.
Technically you are required to. But nobody does (I never have and never will). The entities out there most likely to self report those things are generally parts of the government, like schools. Kind of ironic when you think about it.
Geithner had no idea he was cheating on his taxes either — apparently some accountants aren’t very good.
It’s not even obscure. I use H&R block taxcut program and it asks me about the entry.
Every year I keep a spreadsheet of all my online purchases and whether I paid sales tax or not. I keep food separate because food is taxed at a lower rate in Virginia. I track things that I buy that are gifts for people living in other states, because if you buy something online for use in another state the spirit of the law says it is not taxable (I say “spirit of the law” because there is some question about whether an item that ends up in your house has to be taxed even if it then leaves without you using it. I figure a tax judge isn’t going to mind if you have good records).
The only reason I’m a little upset about the Amazon thing is that I was going to start subtracting the “Prius Owner Punishment Tax” and the “Sales Tax CHeater Add-On Tax” from my sales tax owed each year.
(The first is the extra money they are charging for Prius owners because we supposedly get better gas mileage and aren’t paying “our fair share”. But I don’t drive my car that much, and I drive poorly, so I don’t save that much. I was going to calculate how much I saved over owning a fuel-efficient non-hybrid, and subtract that from the $50 they charge me and remove that amount from my “use tax”.)
(The second is a .3% they were going to raise the sales tax to cover tax cheats who didn’t do their “use tax”. Once they did that, I was going to stop paying the “use tax”, since I was being punished for “not paying it” anyway. I thought it was bad enough the state never went after the cheaters, but when they “fixed that” by taxing ME extra (when I’m already taxed extra by paying the tax nobody else pays), they were going too far.
I was going to publicly disclose my adjustments as part of my Virginia tax submission, so that my signature was not perjury. I was then going to write my state representatives and tell them what I did. And wait to see if the state had the balls to try to take me to court for the money. Because I would have loved THAT publicity.
But since almost ALL of my purchases were Amazon, they’ll have my sales tax now, so I can’t do the adjustments. Oh well. At least I don’t have to spend hours keeping track anymore.
Why don’t you just lie on your income tax form? You could probably stiff them out of a lot more tax dollars.
Did you know that if you forge a “nonprofit organization” letter, you can get local stores to sell you without sales tax? Why not do that, since you think it is a good thing to stiff them out of the sales tax that is legally owed?
Is it because you are afraid you might get caught? Because neither of those two things I just suggested are any less illegal than what you are doing — it’s just that you have a greater chance of getting caught.
Our country is in a sad state when people only follow laws they are afraid of getting caught breaking.
Well, we are also in a sad state when people decide they should listen to their accountants rather than their conscience. After all, your accountant would tell you it’s fine to sleep with your neighbor’s wife.
Are people really choosing online stores based on which ones help them cheat on their taxes?
I don’t think so.
Of course, I think publicly declaring that you are going to change who you buy from so you can cheat on your taxes is probably not a smart thing.
Most states offer a 10% or more finders fee to people who turn in tax cheats. Imagine an enterprising person who came through FreeRepublic and collected the names of all the self-confessed non-use-tax payers.
NOTE: I do not think people should do that. I hate the idea of a nation of bounty hunters. I think people should do what is right because it is what is right, not because they are afraid of being caught.
3-d printed objects are going to be a game-changer.
In Virginia, they just added a new tax to owners of hybrid cars, because theoretically those people get better gas mileage and therefore are not paying “their fair share”. I think it would have been “fairer” if they had set a fuel standard instead, taxing everybody who bought a car which listed better than 40mpg highway for example. Still sucks in either case though.
But my point is — if a state decides that 3-d printing is costing them too much in sales tax, I would guess they will probably come up with a large tax on the raw material used in 3-d printers.
But I don’t know how that would work, or how else they could do taxes “fairly”; if you print something that would be cheap to buy, you shouldn’t pay as much in “tax” as you would if you print something that would have been “expensive” to buy.
I don’t think that 3d printing at this point is a real threat to the state sales tax. But I have a feeling that over time, sales tax is going to become a less-used form of taxation, because of the ways around it.
A lot of stores do because they operate real stores in states. To some degree, Amazon did compete against the bookstores by suggesting that you were “saving money” when in fact they just weren’t collecting your sales tax.
Amazon has actually been collecting sales tax for years — but only for resales on stores based in your state. I’d have a few things I bought each year that were taxed. I made sure to exclude them from my calculations.
But i don’t make my online purchase decisions based on sales tax, or even always based on price (most of the time it is price). Sometimes it is just convenience — getting any product I want at my doorstep in 2 days, rather than having to run out to a store.
They don’t have sales tax either. Every state with a sales tax has a use tax.
I seem to remember you having a different attitude toward my Maryland purchases the last time we were both involved in a discussion on this topic.
I was under the impression they are exempt from sales taxes to begin with...........
The law is the law, and I’ve known the law for years, so I don’t know why you would remember me saying anything different. The standard Sales Tax in Maryland is 6%, which is less than Virginia.
There are some food items in Maryland that are not taxed; if you buy those and bring them home, then you would have to file use tax for those items, if they are taxed in Virginia (which taxes food, but at a lower rate than other items).
But this applies to a small set of Maryland food; items sold by a “food seller” that are meant to be consumed off-site, but are not “prepared foods”; the chances of you buying such things in any quantity, and then bringing them home with you before consuming them, are rather low; the chances of the store taxing you properly for them is probably lower. And the amount you’d owe would be so low as to be in the noise.
That paragraph turned out to be a mess. Sorry about that. Rather than try to fix it, here’s info from the FAQ page for Maryland:
“Maryland includes many specific items that are exempt from sales tax for example, food sold in grocery stores, prescription medicines, and newspapers are generally not taxable. You’ll want to check to see if you or the products you purchase or sell are exempt from the tax.”
IF you are buying these things, and bringing them into Virginia, then you’d have to check if Virginia would tax them, and if so file Use Tax for them.
In the case of Delaware there is what is euphemistically called the "Gross Receipts Tax" which is an insidious tax that raises the price of everything, just not at the cash register, which is why it is called a "hidden" sales tax.
I recently spent a week there and just about everything I purchased there was by far more expensive than back here in Virginia. The only exception to that rule were certain items in places like Dollar General. But same brand/same store purchases are shockingly higher there than here. For example I purchased a pound of store brand butter in Food Lion the day before I headed to DE, it was $2.67 including VA sales tax. While there I needed to purchase butter, same Food Lion brand, same size and in "tax free" Delaware it was $3.20.
You’re changing your tune, once again.
Earlier in this conversation you stated because Maryland’s tax is higher than Virginia’s I do not have to report “any” of those purchases, and now you are back to what you have previously told me about food (grocery store) purchases.
As I have said in the past, I do a certain amount of my grocery shopping in Maryland, just due to the nature of where I live. However, over the course of a year it is going to be a wash when I consider the higher tax I’m paying on all other items in comparison to what tax I would “owe” VA in unpaid food sales tax.
Some states probably, not AZ.
AHHH, the ridiculous non-fitting analogy poster.
If the federal government had no way of finding out what we earn then no-one would pay income taxes, then the IRA would assign us incomes like they do waitress tips. Wait to see how many ignore the Obama-care mandate.
But they do so your sarcastic comment is pointless.
My lib state has no way of knowing what I buy from businesses in other states. Too bad for them.
It was not an analogy. In Virginia, there is a line on the income tax form where they tell you to put the amount of “use tax” you owe. They have a couple of pages that explain the law, and tell you how to calculate what you owe.
You put some number there, either $0 or some other number, and it gets added up to a total.
Then you sign the tax form, where you are told that the signature indicates that you have truthfully filled in the form.
If you sign that form having put a number in that is not the truth, you “lie on your income tax form”.
Your suggestion that nobody would follow a law if they could not be caught is a sad commentary. If people ignore the Obamacare mandate it will be in part because the Supreme Court has told us it is not a “law”, and not a “mandate”, so you can legally decide to pay the tax instead of buying insurance.
BTW, I understand that people break the laws all the time. Even good people break laws all the time these days — but usually when the law seems so outrageous that it deserves to be broken (Obamacare would be an example of such a law, and maybe the law about drinking age, or maybe even marijuana use, depending on who you talk to).
But the argument you are making is not that sales tax is immoral, or absurd. If you were making that argument, you’d be suggesting how we could avoid paying the sales tax on all our purchases. I don’t know if you are arguing that the income tax is inherently unfair when you suggest “no-one” would pay it. Because self-employed people often pay the income tax they owe, even though there is a good chance the feds would never catch them. In fact, there are many ways to cheat on your income taxes that would be hard to catch, like overclaiming deductions, not reporting income that wasn’t reported separately, claiming tax credits you don’t deserve, and even more risky things like making up children and forging documents.
But most people actually do try to pay all the tax they owe, and try to use the political system to change the laws that they don’t like, rather than arguing that everybody has the right to disobey any law they don’t like or costs them money.
Christians are told they should submit to the government authority to the degree it does not compromise their walk with God. Is a sales tax a sin? I might think it is too high, but no, paying it does not make me a sinner (note that Jesus comment “render unto Caesar” does suggest that it is not a sin to pay a required tax to a government which will use the money for evil purposes, but obviously each person needs to come to their own decisions, I’m not going to tell you what your sins are).