Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sales tax/Amazon

Apparently in the US, when you buy things from Amazon, you don't pay sales tax. But can this be right? Don't you technically have to pay it in the state you're in, even if you buy it from a different state?

Another thing: the big supermarkets in the UK all have online shopping and delivery. Isn't that so in the states?


Bill said...

Online supermarket shopping and delivery is in it's infancy in the US.

Online stores in the US collect sales tax if they have a business presence in the state you order from. Otherwise the buyers are supposed to remit the sales tax to the state when they file their state tax return.

Simon Minshall said...

Similar deal in Canada. If I live in BC and buy a toaster from a local shop, I pay federal and provincial sales taxes, GST and PST. If I buy it from an online retail business in Quebec, they will only charge me the federal GST.

Alberta is an exception because they have no PST. Buy locally there, you only pay the GST.

Ontario combined the two into one HST. Rates on PSTs vary across provinces. In BC it's 7%. GST is fixed at 5%. so for me, it's a 12% charge locally.

It's hard to complain about it to people in the UK As their rates (VAT) are considerably higher.

Petrol is cheap here too at $1.20 (~85p) per liter, but people laugh when I say that.

Clear as mud?

Alex said...

On-line Supermarket shopping peaked about 10 years ago, then Web Van collapsed, and since then Safeway provide a basic service. There was a year when you could not buy a cube van in CA as Web Van had bought them all.

The Dissonance said...

Amazon is in my state so I pay taxes when I order from there. Same with JWPepper for sheet music. Good deal for hiring my friends, but taxes are ~10% in this state. :O(

P S said...

No sales tax from Amazon for us in Connecticut, but we are required to declare the amounts to the state and pay a "use" tax (the sales tax, 6%). What we're SUPPOSED to do and what we actually do are often very different things :)

Only one supermarket chain in the area offers a delivery service.

eolake said...

Dissonance, that's Washington State then?

The Dissonance said...

Yup, home to Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Paccar, Starbucks... Need I go on? ;O)