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Your Take: Should Online Purchases Be Taxed?

Posted By Jim On 12/03/2010 @ 7:05 am In Your Take | 66 Comments

Right now, sales tax is only collected on online purchases if the vendor has a presence in your state. In the case of Amazon, sales tax is collected if the purchases are shipped to Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, and Washington. In some cases, it’s because Amazon has a warehouse there.

I’ve personally always believed that states should collect sales tax on online purchases for the reasons outlined here [3]. Basically, when you aren’t able to collect sales tax from online sales shipped into your state, everyone who pays sales taxes in your state will pay a little bit more than they otherwise would have.

Another reason why I think sales tax should be collected from online purchases is because it puts local stores at a disadvantage. Maryland sales tax is 6%, which is enough reason for me to buy something online if I can find it a little cheaper and avoid the 6% tax to boot. I understand I benefit from this sales tax “loophole,” but I can also recognize when it’s not in everyone’s best interest to keep it that way.

What do you think?


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[3] here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/11/why_your_amazoncom_purchases_s.html

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