OK, here's a question for you all. If any of you use Turbotax, towards the end of your state tax section it prompts you to declare all items bought via the internet or through catalogs where you payed no state taxes but are now are able to declare the items now. Basically you need to pay state taxes on all consumer items that you bought through the internet out of state. Are they kidding? Do they expect every consumer that buys a CD or book via Amazon to save and declare each and every item? Why the hell do they place the burden on the consumer to keep track of all items bought through the internet?
One, my guess is that less than 5% of consumers even know about this and actually comply (like the gampling winnings and tips). I personally do not know anyone who does this. Is this the case?
Two, it is unfair to place the burden on consumers to track EVERY single item and determine if they payed state taxes or not. There is no way I can go back and track every small item I've puchased over the internet.
My opinion, state governments need to get their S___ together and define a policy that works. I know they are beginning to force out of state sellers to include out of state taxes on purchases like Barnes and Nobles. Thats fine, but don't place the burden on consumers. Family with kids, yeah like we have enough time to track all of our puchases. What do they expect of us next?
Not many would honestly answer your question. I have my opinions and similar to yours. Actually, the way it's done might be illegal. When you pay one type of tax, say income tax, you are only responsible to declare income tax owing. For the taxing authority to incriminate one for perjury if you are wrong in declaring some other type of taxes on the wrong form is unconstitutional. There is no legal requirement to force consumers to declare sales tax (no annual filing requirement.) The tax requirement is at the sales level. That's my take, never read or heard of that argument anywhere nor the media. The State is being sneaky with this trick. Sorta scares the Bee-jesus out of hundreds of million of the little people following the Martha Stewart trial and Bill Clinton questioning.
So why do sheep-like people report it? Because the dumb@ss form requires it, without legal authority. If they ask you to pay what you underpaid in social security tax, do you have to answer also? What about cigarette tax or gas tax the bootleggers didn't pay? To really stretch the State question on that form, what if they asked you for your sex designation, can you put down how frequent per week or month or can you leave it blank? The system of taxation is still voluntary: You declare what income you think you made and the income tax owed. No one disputes the requirement on that. If they ask you for daytime phone number, do you have to give it to them too?
But it comes down to the bottom line for the State. The State's gamble has netted them tens of millions just by adding in an Unconstitutional line on the wrong form. Next the State Gestopo will knock on your door one day and say you owe for not paying sales tax. Won't be too long down the road.