Are You Paying your Sales Tax?
Probably not, because most Ohioans don’t realize that we are required to submit Ohio Use Tax (see line 19) on items purchased online where the seller doesn’t collect. That means every time you buy a book, an i-phone case with a built-in cup holder, or an emergency mustache kit and sales tax is not collected – you are legally responsible to pay it when you file your state income tax returns.
And that makes sense….
because there is no difference between ordering a book on Amazon or walking down to the Book Loft and purchasing it off of their shelf – except the Book Loft collects sales taxes. (and they create jobs here in Ohio…) If we want Amazon to collect the sales tax owed on our order we need Congress to act.
Why is it this way? Simply put, Ohio can’t tax companies in other states. Congress has the authority to regulate commerce between the states. Therefore, we need Congress to resolve this issue with the Marketplace Fairness Act. It is the Constitutional thing to do.
As more people use Amazon to purchase their books, local and state governments are losing revenue they need. This will lead to cuts in public services OR an increase in other taxes – likely a combination of both. Sales tax is collected by the state, county, and other entities (like a regional transportation service). All of these levels of government will struggle to continue to provide great public services that we all use.
Anti-tax organizations are afraid this is an ‘expansion of state tax authority‘ but it isn’t really. It is an effort to make the collection and remission of taxes already owed more efficient and equal among the several states. We can all get behind real efficiency, can’t we?