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Your Take: Would You Ship Out of State to Avoid Sales Tax?

Posted By Jim On 08/17/2012 @ 7:15 am In Your Take | 21 Comments

We know that a sales tax on internet purchases is probably on the way, either federally or slowly expanding across the states, with Amazon [3] firmly in the sights of every state Treasurer. Unless there is a nationwide system, the rates will always vary among the states because they vary right now. The retail sales tax in Virginia is 5% but a hefty 6% in Maryland. Go up to Delaware and you pay no sales tax! (this is one of the reasons why sales tax holidays [4] are always so popular)

Delaware is only an hour and a half away, which makes it impractical for most purchases, but it does start making sense for big ticket purchases like a television. We often stop at the Delaware Costco on drives up to New York or New Jersey in order to buy stuff tax-free (it’s rare and it’s mostly alcohol ) but we haven’t made a special trip just to buy something and avoid taxes.

But let’s say Amazon started collecting taxes in your state, like Virginia in September 2013, would you ship to a friend or relative in a nearby state to avoid the tax? My in-laws live in Virginia and if they wanted to ship things to our house to avoid the tax, I’d have no problem with it.


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