Saturday, June 23, 2018

Online Sales Tax, Here We Come

Brace yourself.

If you do any ordering online, the odds are very, very good that from now on, you'll be paying sales tax -- whether the company is in your home state or not.

The Supreme Court just ruled that states can collect sales tax from online orders generated in their location. (Interestingly enough, this started with a South Dakota case. How many online customers from this plains state are ordering, versus, say, New York?)

States aren't required to do this. Five states don't charge sales tax now: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. (Alaska and Montana do allow local towns to charge their own tax.) Ironically, this article praises Colorado for having the lowest state sales tax (2.9%) -- but our total in the Castle Rock area is closer to 9.5%, thanks to local add-ons. (The stinkers.)

 But I never heard of a state government that didn't sprint to the fiscal feed trough when it had the go-ahead to do so.

Big online companies like Amazon, Ebay and Wayfair are squealing, too. They've been getting away with lax sales tax charges for ages...and picking up a lot of orders because of it.

So have we as customers, quite frankly.

So... will this cost you more in the long run? Yes -- but it's really more fair, particularly to small companies with a retail presence who've been forced to charge sales tax all along to their walk-in customers. For companies without a storefront, whose sales are largely from the internet, it's going to be a pain -- each state charges differently. (This includes Brickworks, my company. Oh boy.)

I wonder if there will eventually be some kind of national agreement between the states on a sales tax percentage...but so far, it hasn't happened.

For more on how this is going to affect you, go here.

guess why I'm using this photo? (Hint: it's Irish.)

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