Info: State Sales Taxes in America

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jxyama, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #1
    clarification on a question that's often asked...

    there are 5 states in the USA with no sales tax: Alaska, Montana, Delaware, New Hampshire and Oregon.

    if you live in one of those states, apple.com will not charge you tax. otherwise, you will be charged the tax regardless of the presence of an retail apple store or not.

    also, if you don't live in one of those states, there's no way to get the apple educational discount and still avoid the sales tax.
     
  2. quackattack macrumors 6502a

    quackattack

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #2
    Yes you got it correct. I live in Idaho part of the year. There is not a retail store in Idaho, but you still get charged for sales tax if it is shipped to you. The other part of the year I live in Oregon. Guess what..... NO TAX.

    Needless to say I've learned to time all of my major purchases for when I am in Oregon. ;)
     
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #3
    Having a store is only one of the reasons that a company charges sales tax on purchases. A company can have what is termed a "nexis", a on going business relationship in a state. That forces them to collect sales taxes.
     
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #4
    While almost no one actually does this, I believe if you live in a state that has a sales tax you are supposed to report any purchases from out-of-state and pay sales tax on those purchases yourself. It's just that the out-of-state company from which you've made a purchase is not required to report the sale and collect the tax themselves, unless they have a business presence in your state.
     
  5. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #5
    See, this is where it gets interesting for me:

    If I buy through Apple.com's online education site, the discount is GENERALLY somewhere in the ball park of 10%.

    If I go to Delaware (I live in Pennsylvania not too far from the border) to buy something, I can't actually get the education discount in a retail store or CompUSA but I DO NOT have to pay the 6% sales tax.

    If an item is less than 6% off through the education discount OR I have to pay shipping on it, I do the math and usually end up in the car to Delaware.
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
     
  7. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #7
    Thanks for that. For some reason, I thought you couldn't get ed pricing in store. New Castle isn't TOO far.
     
  8. dPratt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #8
    Several years ago my parents bought new living room furniture at a furniture outlet in North Carolina. Apparently the prices are lower and it's only ~1.5 hours away. Anway, being out-of-state customers they didn't pay sales tax, had it delivered, and thought nothing more about it, having gotten a good deal and all :) Recently (after 4-5 years, mind you) they got a bill from Tennessee for sales tax on the furniture. I'm not exactly sure how the state found out they bought furniture that long ago and didn't pay any sales tax, but they did. And my parents were stuck paying a pretty large tax bill. I just hope they don't find out about the eMac I purchased from PowerMax and didn't pay sales tax on ;)
     
  9. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #9
    States have been known to review shipping records for out-of-state purchases. Though 4 to 5 years after the fact is pretty long time. I have heard that those reviews generally happen in 1 to 3 years.
     
  10. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #10
    Some states are just more aggressive than others at contacting retailers about out of state sales. It also depends on the willing of the store to hand over such information.
     
  11. jxyama thread starter macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #11
    i thought the validity of charging sales tax on out of state goods are still being debated. i know that Michigan has a "use tax" you are supposed to declare for anything you purchase outside. however, i am not sure if it's legally mandated. they make it sound like it, but isn't there a clause in the constitution prohibiting hindrance to interstate commerce?

    hmm...
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #12
    Most states get around this by charging a "use tax" on the basis of sales taxes you may have paid to another state. Meaning if a state has no sales tax and you have it shipped to a state that does, the state that the item was shipped to gets to collect the "use tax" based on their tax rate. If you buy something from a state that has a 3% sales tax, and you paid that sales tax; and your state has a 6% sales tax - then your "use tax" rate is 3%.
     

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