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Old 05-24-2014, 03:00 PM   #21
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Here in Mass, driving 20 minutes north to no-sales-tax NH for liquor, cigs and big ticket items (TVs, furniture, jewelry etc) is a way of life. ("Hey, I'm makin' a run...need anything?")

So much so that the Mass Gov suggested putting staties on the border to make sure you paid your sales tax upon re-entry. Of course it was only a matter of time before a local TV station bagged a state rep 'shopping' up there. Hilarious!
Here in NE Illinois, the big scheme is to cross into Indiana for cigarettes and avoid not only the higher Illinois sales tax but also the much higher Illinois excise tax added to each pack of ciggies. Heavy smokers (NOT ME!) can save $3 - $4 a day buying their cigarettes in Indiana by the case.
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:19 PM   #22
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You seem to be confused as to who is paying the tax. The out of state on-line business (who you state correctly does not need the local services of your community) is NOT paying the local sales tax. They collect it from YOU and forward it to your state. You're paying a tax to fund local services you consume.

Lots of folks seem to get this wrong. Sales tax is not a tax on sellers, it's a tax on buyers.
In fact this is why the sales tax is stated explicitly on the receipt. If it were a tax on the selling business you would not see it. And of course this is why the use tax exists to handle the cases where you did not utilize the seller to collect the tax on you.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:25 PM   #23
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You seem to be confused as to who is paying the tax. The out of state on-line business (who you state correctly does not need the local services of your community) is NOT paying the local sales tax. They collect it from YOU and forward it to your state. You're paying a tax to fund local services you consume.

Lots of folks seem to get this wrong. Sales tax is not a tax on sellers, it's a tax on buyers.
I understand that, I'm not confused, and I still think my point holds, no? I thought maybe I was loose with my wording, but I re-read my post and I think I stated it correctly - sales tax is 'collected', property taxes/fees are 'paid'.


If I buy from a local B&M place, they collect the sales tax that I pay, and it goes into the State and local coffers to pay for local Police, Fire, among many other things. That local B&M store relies on some of the services that are paid for by those taxes.


If I buy from a place in Ohio, and if they now collect the sales tax that I pay, it goes into MY State and local coffers to pay for local Police, Fire, among many other things. That Ohio store does not rely on any of the services that are paid for by those taxes. So since they don't use those resources, I don't see why they should need to collect the tax for my locality.

Now, if they told me I have to pay (and they collect) their Ohio/local sales tax, OK, I can take the deal or leave it. But at least they don't need to know the tax laws in a zillion different taxing jurisdictions, only the ones they sell from.

To the degree that means lost revenue to IL, as I said, times change, find a different (more efficient) way to collect that lost revenue (or, if I dream, they could actually cut waste).

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Old 05-24-2014, 11:48 PM   #24
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I estimate my online purchases for purposes of my state taxes. I figured that the number of people doing this was small, bit am surprised it is less than 2%.

If the states could somehow compel Amazon and other online retialers to provide individual sales data to the states (just as employers and banks report to the IRS the money they pay out), a lot of folks would probably change their tune and welcome collection of taxes by these retailers.

These sales taxes are supposed to be paid by consumers, and it's not right that inter-state sellers gain an advantage over local B&M retailers due to the collection mechanism and lack of effective enforcement. But, I'm not sure I agree that a retailer in Utah can/should be forced by New Jersey to collect taxes for the benefit of New Jersey.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:25 AM   #25
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I think one constant I see in discussions like this is often, the very same people who complain about paying tax complain about a lack of services. The two are connected.

I will agree with people who say money is wasted by the government - but I would love to have someone point to any large government where this isn't true - or any large business for that matter.

I will admit I don't pay sales taxes in the USA - since I don't live there - but if I do import something from the USA, I get hit win the tax here, and it is higher (14% is the minimum for imported goods)

Honestly, if you want to keep local shops, you have to make it a level playing field - in however you can. Taxes are a significant part of this. On-line merchants have many advantages over local, no point giving them one more.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:13 AM   #26
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I guess I look at this a little differently. With nearly half of all small B&M businesses now having an online presence (and growing) it seems that they are also benefiting from the opportunity to sell across state (and often country lines) and bypassing sales taxes as well. In addition, they are capturing the " I need it now" or the customer that prefers to "feel" their merchandise before purchasing it with their physical location. To me this is less about fairness for the small business and more about their strategy for competing. If they choose to only have a B&M presence they are limiting their sales opportunities and not embracing the opportunities that technology has brought to their doorstep.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:41 AM   #27
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I think one constant I see in discussions like this is often, the very same people who complain about paying tax complain about a lack of services. The two are connected.

I will agree with people who say money is wasted by the government - but I would love to have someone point to any large government where this isn't true - or any large business for that matter.
If you have a handle on revenues and taxes (and the major sources) (all readily available to all of us) and want to confirm this, next time someone complains about federal/state/taxes being too high, just ask them exactly how they would balance the budget. Make sure you ask them about Soc Sec, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense and debt payments as well since what remains has been 15-20% of all fed spending in the last few years. I have yet to find anyone who could provide specific cuts or revenue increases that would cut deficits in a meaningful way. What they offer hardly makes a dent in the imbalance, short or long term.

It's interesting to see people say there's nothing wrong with evading sales taxes...
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:12 AM   #28
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I think one constant I see in discussions like this is often, the very same people who complain about paying tax complain about a lack of services. The two are connected. ...
A constant? Really? I only see that mentioned once in this thread, in an obviously satirical comment. So how about waiting until someone actually does mention it, and then call them out on it if you want?

Revenue and spending are two separate issues. We are talking revenue in this thread. If we are looking for revenue neutral solutions, I see no reason to limit ourselves to replacing lost sales tax revenue with some other form of sales tax revenue. Money is fungible, I propose we collect it in the most efficient way possible. Asking an on-line retailer to deal with every taxing body in the US is not going to be efficient.


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Honestly, if you want to keep local shops, you have to make it a level playing field - in however you can. Taxes are a significant part of this. On-line merchants have many advantages over local, no point giving them one more.
This seems odd to me - I want to deal with whoever provides the most advantage. Why cause the advantages to 'go away' n favor of someone else? If B&M stores are to stay in business, they need to find ways to provide a service people are willing to pay for.

I also mentioned one option - that the on-line retailer be forced to collect the taxes for the locality they ship from. I really don't see the difference between a retailer selling to someone local, and selling to someone out-of-state. I would think the 'point of sale' should determine the taxing.

If that means that on-line retailers will flock to states with low/no sales tax, well maybe there is a lesson in that?

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Old 05-25-2014, 10:15 AM   #29
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...

It's interesting to see people say there's nothing wrong with evading sales taxes...
? Did someone in this thread say "there's nothing wrong with evading sales taxes..."?

I think people are questioning if it is reasonable to expect a retailer to collect taxes for all the various localities, and discussing options. I think that is different from saying "there's nothing wrong with evading sales taxes...".

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Old 06-02-2014, 09:21 AM   #30
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You seem to be confused as to who is paying the tax. The out of state on-line business (who you state correctly does not need the local services of your community) is NOT paying the local sales tax. They collect it from YOU and forward it to your state. You're paying a tax to fund local services you consume.

Lots of folks seem to get this wrong. Sales tax is not a tax on sellers, it's a tax on buyers.
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