While Idaho lawmakers once again revisit the debate surrounding sales tax on Internet purchases, the Idaho State Tax Commission wants Idahoans to know that, unless things change, the so-called "use tax" is still due.
“The use tax has been a part of Idaho law since 1965, when the sales tax went into effect,” explained Randy Tilley, Idaho Tax Commission audit and collections administrator. “Every state with a sales tax also has a use tax, to make sure that all sales are taxed equally and fairly.”
While "use tax" is often overlooked by online retailers, Idaho State Tax Commission suggests it is consumers' responsibility to pay the extra funds after making purchases online. Idaho is not alone in the push to collect use taxes - New York and California recently started similar campaigns.
Tax analysts suggest that what once was only enforced on large-ticket items such as cars and boats, might soon be required for all Web purchases.
“The law does not exempt Internet purchases from tax,” Tilley stated. “When Idaho citizens make untaxed purchases online, it creates an uneven playing field for local businesses that have to charge tax on their sales.”
For online shoppers fearing an audit nightmare, the State Tax Commission lists three ways Idahoans can pay: on their annual income tax return, using a Form 850-U, or in person at the Tax Commission office.