Published: Sunday, May 5 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
If you want roads, firefighters, libraries, parks, recreation, and other local
services, you should pay be willing to pay local/online sales taxes. People seem
to want services without paying taxes to provide those services. It doesn't
The social contract with government is broken.Congress has an approval
rating in single digits.Government is filled with high wages, bloated
pensions, wasted revenue and out-of-control fraud on a massive scale.
(Examples: Pigford and ITIN tax refunds.)Internet sales tax is a drop in
the bucket.Why would I pay it to a government I no longer trust?
To answer the question posed by the title, it is 'YES!'.Especially, for those who believe in sustaining the law of the land.
Yes, if you haven't been paying use tax with your state income tax each
year, then you are a tax cheat.Say asked, "Why would I pay it to
a government I no longer trust?"Answer: Because it's the law, not
a request from the government.The current situation is untenable.
Either the use tax needs to be eliminated or it needs to be collected uniformly.
If that would make it too much trouble to do business in all 50 states, then
don't do business.
"Why would I pay it to a government I no longer trust?"Because not paying tax will do nothing to fix the problems in government. And
much of government does work well for the benefit of all.
No one is a tax cheat who takes advantage of what the tax code allows. Perhaps
the code needs to be rewritten, as it does seem to penalize local businesses who
by law must charge the tax. You can't blame the users for not paying the
tax.As far as use taxes, states do not make it clear that it must be
paid, and provide no penalties for not paying it. It shouldn't be up to the
individual to recall where taxes were paid and where they were not.If the states insist on people paying use taxes, it has to provide a mechanism
for this, as wage income and freelance income does with W-2 and 1099 forms.
Larry said, "No one is a tax cheat who takes advantage of what the tax code
allows."The Utah tax code requires payment of use tax on most mail
order/internet purchases. It doesn't allow nonpayment."You
can't blame the users for not paying the tax."Although it is a
pain to keep track of one's purchases, paying the use tax is required by
law, so I think I can "blame" those who don't pay."As far as use taxes, states do not make it clear that it must be paid,
and provide no penalties for not paying it."It's right there on
the Utah income tax form, and it's explained in detail in the instructions.
And where did you get the idea that there are no penalties for not paying use
tax?"It shouldn't be up to the individual to recall where
taxes were paid and where they were not."I agree with you on this
point. We already waste a ridiculous amount of time and money calculating our
taxes and filling out forms. Taxes should be collected at the time of sale.
Why is it always the citizen's fault when the government wants more of our
money? Am I a tax cheat for shopping online? NO! It's legal to shop
online, and I'm obeying all the tax laws involving online commerce.
I'm paying the legal tax rate. Sometimes it's zero and sometimes
it's the full Utah sales tax rate, if that retailer has nexus in Utah.
Utah already has a use tax for purchases made outside of its taxing authority,
which is unbelievable in the first place, but it's there and it covers
untaxed online purchases. Taxing online purchases from retailers outside of a
state's taxing authority is outside the parameters established by the
concepts in the US Constitution, even though it's not covered specifically.
If Ohio or California or Florida is given the right to tax my online purchases,
even if they forward that tax to Utah, is taxation without representation. It
should be declared unconstitutional. States do not have the RIGHT to tax. We
have merely given them the authority to tax. Rights belong to the people.
It's not hard to find the required tax code in Utah. Using Turbotax, it
just pops up at the proper place.Ignorance is no excuse.
frogguy said, "Am I a tax cheat for shopping online? NO! It's legal to
shop online, and I'm obeying all the tax laws involving online commerce.
I'm paying the legal tax rate. Sometimes it's zero and sometimes
it's the full Utah sales tax rate, if that retailer has nexus in
Utah."Of course you're not a tax cheat for shopping online.
You're only a tax cheat if you don't pay use tax when required. The
legal use-tax rate (for most purchases) is not zero, regardless of whether the
retailer has a presence in Utah.
There are sides to this question. The State requires that you report purchases
made "tax free" and pay a "use tax"; however the State has
provided no services to those companies and is therefore requiring us to pay for
services not rendered.Maybe the question we should be asking is why
any government thinks it can tax us for services not rendered.
But it's ok, since apparently you can be a tax cheat and still be a member
of Obama's cabinet. In fact, it might improve your resume for a spot in
Obama's cabinet.But even though the government can shirk their
duties in enforcing some laws (such as immigration), they will not shirk away
from their duty of taking your money away!I'm not saying we
shouldn't pay taxes, I'm just saying that the current federal
government is corrupt.
The answer is clearly no. If anything, the businesses have an obligation to
build it into the price and pay the tax. I have to laugh at those who are so
set on 'rules' that they would call someone a tax cheat because they
purchased something online.@BloodhoundI have no problem
with paying taxes for 'roads, firefighters, libraries, parks, recreation,
and other local services.' I DO have a problem paying taxes for idiotic
'green energy' companies and the like. I have a huge problem with my
tax dollars going to crony capitalism. We have a government who isn't
responsible with the dollars it gets. Why would we send anymore without
demanding that they use money wisely? And you may say this is for state
governments. Well, go research the 'Taj Mahal Sewer System' in
Alabama. This is just one example of how out of touch State AND Federal
I'm not arguing with any of the points of view so far presented, but here
is my question to all those who claim that the tax should be paid because it is
"the law of the land": Do you ever drive 56MPH in a 55MPH zone? Do you
ever not completely, absolutely stop at a stop sign? Have you ever driven
without a seatbelt because you are using your street only so you can turn your
car around to face the other direction in your driveway? Etc. I'm only
saying let's not be "holier than thou."
Riverton Cougar: When have we not had a corrupt federal government?
The title to this article is ridiculous and demonstrates a real lack of critical
thinking! The answer is an obvious no. The law is clear that the businesses
selling the products are responsible for collecting and reporting sales tax.
Setting the record straight:"As a result, many online sales are
essentially tax-free, giving Internet retailers an advantage over
brick-and-mortar stores."No, local stores have a significant
advantage over online retailers. When you buy online you have to pay for
shipping and handling. You have to wait for the product. You can't try it
on, look at it, hold it, etc. before you buy. If you have to return the product
you have to pay shipping to send it back. Sales tax is usually about the same as
shipping and handling expenses.No you are not a tax cheat:Article 1 section 9 of the Constitution states: "No Tax or Duty shall be
laid on Articles exported from any State."When I buy from
another state they are exporting it to me. Charging a tax, sales tax or use tax
on such a transaction is unconstitutional. The states are the tax cheats by
attempting to charge such a tax.
If Harmon's or Walmart stopped adding taxes to purchases, would the state
not do something about it?Why is it any different for Amazon or
Ebay?Every state has different laws and a purchaser cannot
reasonably be expected to keep track of all possible variables. Companies manage
to do this just fine on their own; so why not with taxes? Then again, why do we
have to tax everything? Does every last aspect of our trading require taxation?
I would hope people remember history and when 'too much taxing' has
lead to problems.
For those who think it's a no-brainer, business should of course have to
collect and remit this, obviously you've never done accounting,
particularly in a small firm. It's not just 50 states, it's thousands
of jurisdictions within those states. Sales tax is collected quarterly by some
jurisdications, quarterly by others, and annually by a few. Every one of those
is another tax return. You really think some mom and pop business $100,000 in
sales can afford the man hours to prepare all those returns? Even if it's
a million dollar business, you've got maybe three people doing all the
accounting - and now you need a 4th.The ONLY way this could be
workable, is if you do one annual return to a single agency, listing total sales
by state. You do a million dollars, you pay 7% on it (or whatever the uniform
rate is), and the clearing house agency then remits to each state their share.
Otherwise you've got a nightmare.Besides, since when does any
state have the power to tax people outside their borders?
A1994 said, "The answer is clearly no. If anything, the businesses have an
obligation to build it into the price and pay the tax. I have to laugh at those
who are so set on 'rules' that they would call someone a tax cheat
because they purchased something online."I repeat, there is
nothing wrong with purchasing something online, and no one has suggested
otherwise. But if you report on your state income tax return that you owe zero
use tax when you actually do owe some (e.g., you made a typical online purchase
without paying sales tax), wouldn't you consider that cheating?
That's the way it is.How it *should* be is another question.
And my whole point is that the current situation is unacceptable, and businesses
should be required to collect the tax, including online sellers.To
RG, your suggestion not to be holier than thou is a good one. But I have an
hard time considering tax evasion to be comparable to traffic violations.
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