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June 19, 2009

Editor's Note
If you've ever made an online purchase of merchandise, you've probably noticed that you might not have paid sales tax. After all, goods purchased from out-of-state are subject to use tax, not sales tax, and of course when you made that online purchase, you recorded it in your little online purchase diary and filed the information away with your tax data so you could report the purchase and pay the use tax on your state income tax return in the spring.

If you're nodding "Yes, I did that," right now, rest assured you are in the minority. States are giving up on trying to collect use tax since they've never gotten the hang of enforcing the tax, and they're hoping Congress will overrule a 1992 Supreme Court decision and let the retailers take care of collecting the tax and remitting it to the states and local jurisdictions. Chances are better than 50/50 that this Congress might actually push this legislation through.

Best regards,
Gail Perry, CPA
Managing Editor


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