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Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

Posted by pamela1 (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 1, 12 at 19:21

Just recieved a threatening letter from the State of Florida telling me that they had tracked a trucked-in delivery to me and that according to FL statute blah-blah, if I wasn't charged state sales tax by the company I purchased the item from, I owed 6% "use tax" to the State of Florida. The burden is on me to produce a bill of sale and remit any tax owed by a near date or ELSE!

Why am I writing this? Well, because I didn't know anything about this. Also, because I think we're going to see a lot more of this investigating in all states. When we moved to Florida we were absolutely NOT given a brochure that told anything about our liability for this or any other taxes or fees. So we had no idea we'd owe this. The tax I am being charged on an expensive appliance (EBay purchase, company has no presence in Florida) would buy the warming drawer I have my eye on. It's just a nasty surprise.

Some Internet research I did showed that if I had used the item for 6 mos out of state, the tax would be waived. Otherwise, the intent of the law is that the item is becoming part of the greater State merchandise assets, or some such verbage.

I realize that tens of thousands of items will never be followed up on, but that my one large purchase is worth the State's time. Therefore, it feels a bit targeted and unfair that many don't pay, but I must.

Yeah, I guess I just needed to whine....


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

Although it's not commonly known, and not enforced, it is largely universal that residents are responsible for paying the state and local jurisdiction sales & use taxes on items bought and shipped in from out-of-state vendors that don't themselves collect the tax. The usual deal is that the seller doesn't have to collect the tax if he doesn't have a physical presence (storefront or warehouse/shipping facility) in the state, but the buyer still is legally responsible for paying it.

This has become a sticky point for online sales.

Texas and Amazon.com recently struck a deal and Amazon is now collecting the tax on items shipped to Texas addresses.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

This is a big issue between Oregon and Washington. Oregon doesn't have a sales tax but Washington does. Wash residents go over the bridge to Portland to buy stuff - often expensive stuff - and take it home and don't pay the taxes. Washington actually has cops in the parking lots of the stores near the border to get the license plates of the Wash residents. Wash says they lose many millions of dollars in taxes and they want their money. These days every dollar counts.

Stores that deliver to Wash must pay the taxes even if they don't have a store in Wash. One store got into big trouble not paying them and had to close some stores.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

I know it won't make you feel any better, but this is happening more and more, and not just with truck-in items. The thing that annoys me about it is not the having to pay tax, which we technically do owe, but that FL has no mechanism in place to make it simple to do this in the first place, unlike many other states.

If you had wanted to volunteer to pay the tax when you bought it, it would have been almost impossible to do it.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

I don't know about FL but in many states your declare the use tax that you owe on your state income tax form.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

It is similar to a lot of reciprocal agreements now being made among different jurisdictions to allow access to records of out of state "sales tax free export" sales.
In Canada, a federal sales tax on almost everything including imports was introduced to replace a federal tax on Canadian only manufactured items and the collection of it was later merged with other more local sales taxes.
The US still has the old style federal tax at the factory door which doesn't tax imports. No doubt that will change in the not too distant future.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

> don't know about FL but in many states your declare the use tax that you owe on your state income tax form.

FWIW, Florida's state constitution prohibits a state income tax.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

MA agents used to snoop NH border stores to catch tax "offenders." The agents gained some notoriety when we chased them out. This was several years ago and I don't know whether our more recent tax and spend state administration cooperates with their kindred spirits from MA or not.

kas


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

Washington resident here. We don't have a state income tax either, although, as noted, our state sales tax is high. I have no idea how I'd pay the use tax on the few items I bought online during the whole house reno without paying sales tax. I do know that I'm supposed to pay. Maybe I contact the state revenue office?

Oregpsnow--the issue between WA/Oregon has gotten worse now with the booze situation. WA voters stupidly (I didn't vote for it) voted the state out of the liquor business, resulting in ridiculously high liquor taxes and extra fees amounting to more than a 21-23% price increase. Many WA residents now buy their booze in Oregon or Idaho. On a recent trip over the border, we may have made an unlawful out-of-state large booze purchase. Maybe.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

breezey - I won't report your possible purchase to the State of Washington. Oregon may get out of the liquor business soon, too, so the trip across the bridge may not help much.

I do wish Wash would ban the sales of those annoying fireworks so my neighbors didn't go over there to buy them and end up blowing up my house. Different issue, I know, but money-driven also.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

All very interesting. I do think that instituting an across-the-board Use or Consumption tax will be one of the only methods acceptable to the public of raising revenue or tackling the deficit without touching the sacred cows of the mortgage interest deduction, reduced payroll taxes, etc.

And right now, it probably isn't equitable that some people are, and some people are not, paying taxes on the identical item. So I think it's time to make sales tax laws the same for everyone and everything. Sorry, Amazon and EBay.

(BTW, the item I bought from out-of-state is not available in my greater area, to my knowledge. Just thought I'd add that...)


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

There is a poster on the kitchen forum who encountered the same issue but it covered a great deal of her reno. There was a thread on this if I recall -- it was no secret. You might try a search under sabjimata or email and inquire.

Many so called sales taxes are actually use taxes. Most state websites have tax forms available to download for remittance and sometimes you can actually pay online. In my state (NY) I annually file my resale tax online and pay the registration fee for my business entity through the state website.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

dadoes: "Although it's not commonly known, and not enforced, it is largely universal that residents are responsible for paying the state and local jurisdiction sales & use taxes on items bought and shipped in from out-of-state vendors that don't themselves collect the tax."

Your statement is correct; just do not ever post that statement on Chowhound. The so-called moderators there have banned for life from posting on Chowhound some contributors because the contributors have pointed that out.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

I'm in PA. About 3 months ago (here at the new house) I too received a letter from our Revenue Dept. It wasn't threatening, it just stated that the appliances I purchased in 2009 (!!!) did not have PA state tax paid on them. They were purchased at the local appliance store, which just happened to be in Tax Free Delaware. Mind you, those were the appliances from my LAST reno! I contacted the store and they told me that the state of PA came in with a court order that they turn over all their records for the last 3 years. Well, that purchase was probably right at the 3 year mark.

But, we did buy some more stuff from them for this house. Not too much, but the store we bought our dishdrawers, range top, etc from did not carry SZ. So we bought from the DE dealer, and they brought them up to us, even though the new house is 2 hours from their store. (I bought a clearance item, it was a good deal that no one local could match). Anyhow, I'm waiting for the bill to come for that one.

One of my old neighbors who did a kitchen reno, and bought all of her appliances from the same DE store, got a tax bill too, hers was around $800.

And they give you 15 days to pay it!

We didn't go to that store to avoid the tax, it truly was the place nearby that carried the appliances we wanted...including the Capital range.

The dealer told me that now if they are delivering to PA, they charge tax. If it is a pickup item (which our stuff was in 2009), then they just do the paperwork without a name.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

pamela, is that you? (Egypt Pamela???)


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

More OT

Oregpsnow--I didn't say I went across the bridge south. Washington does border another state. Lets hope if Oregon stops selling liquor they structure the law such that you don't have our outrageous taxes and fees. Pay to play, I guess.

As to fireworks, my area has a ban as to many other western WA cities. I cannot, however, imagine the state being able to tell the tribes to stop selling. Most people here drive to a rez anyway for fireworks. What makes me sad is that my young children can't enjoy the tame driveway fireworks anymore.


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

Yes, my dear "I"! I think of you often, wondering how you and your two handsome men are these days. I often tell the story of that most amazing Garden Web Egypt Rendezvous. Glad you found me here. Let's email and catch up! We sometimes come to DC to see our son and DIL...

(We're doing a whole-house remodel in FL, West Indies style. Three new kitchens in about 7 years, can you believe it?)


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RE: Whoa! Socked by FL "use tax"

Yay it IS you!!!

Yes let's get in touch! BTW, just to keep on topic, that sucks.


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