Paying tax on online orders already received

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Well-known member
Aug 25, 2009
I just finished doing my income tax and the program I used (H&R Block) asked me a question I had not remembered from previous years.  They wanted a  list of all the online orders I had received where state tax had not been collected so that I could, at that point, pay the tax still owed.

Imagine the amount of work it was, to go through all my records for the year to get that information.
The tax is the responsibility of the buyer, but it's called a sales tax when the seller collects it and remits to the state.  If the seller doesn't collect it, as in many mail order sales, then it's a use tax and the buyer is responsible for paying it to the state.

I can't recall any orders that didn't have sales tax ;)
Imagine the amount of work it was, to go through all my records for the year to get that information

Congratulations. If you truly answered that question honestly, you must be the one Diogenes was looking for. Wonder how many would answer zero.
That question is appearing on many State Tax forms these days.  For the life of me, I can't remember where I stored those records, but I know I wouldn't have been so careless if all tax had not been paid. 

Now, where'd I put the deed to that Arizona beach front property?
Just Lou said:
Now, where'd I put the deed to that Arizona beach front property?

You sold it to me, along with that stock option for the Minnesota Palm Tree Growers Association.
Can't wait to pick up the rig and drive down to my new beach front!

My recollection is that I stored my records with yours.  When you find them, please send me mine so I can take care of anything I might owe.

Truth be known, Amazon signed an agreement with Pennsylvania and has been collecting tax for some time.  I doubt I owe anything but will look again.
I recently participated in a conversation VERY similar to this thread that unfolded around a lunch table occupied by my colleagues at work.  One friend named Paul, who had remained quiet for much of the discussion, finally offered voluntarily that he had reported over 900 dollars worth of "out-of-state" purchases on his state income tax filing.  The inclusion of the value of these purchases in his tax filing added about $60 to his total tax liability.

At first we thought he was kidding but when he started talking about the specific items he had ordered from Amazon, Campmor, E-Bay vendors and others we realized he was in earnest. 

In response to a few questions, he described a state tax audit which he had undergone a few years earlier.  During the audit he was placed in the position of either lying outright and denying all untaxed purchases (knowing that his credit card records would provide unassailable  evidence of his deceit) or, fess up and take the bitter medicine.  He acknowledged his purchases and paid a modest penalty and all of the calculated back taxes.

He opined that, due to his having been audited once and having been found in contravention of the tax statutes, he was much more likely to be audited again.

I do not know if Paul can mitigate his risk of future audits by providing the names of his loose talking lunch mates but sometimes I think of it.  (smile)
R. J. Barton said:
I would pay the sales tax, but I lost all of the receipts in a tragic boating accident.  :p


Yes but MT has one of the highest state income taxes in the country.
Although we don't have state income tax in Texas, I noticed that Amazon is now charging sales tax on our purchases.
Never used H&R or Turbo-Tax so don't know how detailed the information they provide or ask is. Your signature says "Spend half the year with Campers on Mission".  If you order things from Amazon or others and have them shipped to the places you are staying, you should check into the actual Pennsylvania regulations. The states that I am familiar with only collect use tax from their residents on those items that are actually brought back into the state. If there was any tax collected for another state, only the difference if any is due. The use tax regulations are usually not just applicable to internet items. For example, being from Pennsylvania items purchased in Delaware (which has no sales tax) and brought into Pennsylvania may also be subject to use tax depending on how the law is written.
Gone are the days of dodging the confiscation of your money by using mail order services unfortunately.  Since we spend a LOT of time on the road and try to avoid metropolitan areas Amazon gets used a lot.  I've noticed that I get dinged for sales tax on all of our orders but on the other hand if I were to purchase the same items in a real store here in Texas I'd get whacked for the tax too, and Texas sales tax is brutal.

In a few weeks we'll be back in Wyoming where the sales tax doesn't hurt quite so bad and if we really have to buy a big ticket item we're only a couple hours away from the tax free sanctuary of Montana.
Many years ago (the statute of limitations is long expired) when I bought a business, my mother who was an accountant told me that the only way I would ever make a profit was if I became a better thief than the government.
We had heard that Amazon was going to start charging sales tax in AZ starting 1/1/2013 2/1/2013 but far it hasn't happened to us.
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