State To Add Line On Income Tax Form For Reporting Online Purchases

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Growing faster than legislative abilities to regulate it, the world of internet retailing has put the traditional retail at a competitive disadvantage by not having to charges sales tax.

That’s not to say you won’t face sale taxes when you purchase online. As the Best Buy website indicates, “Best Buy is required to collect sales tax where it has a physical presence.”

The same is true for any other retailer with stores in Pennsylvania.

So if you’re not charged the tax, do you still owe it?

“I think everybody knows when they point and click that they’re beating 6 or 7 percent,” CMU Economics Professor Robert Strauss said.

Strauss is an expert in the use tax and says people who make online purchases that are not charged sales tax are supposed to send in the 6 percent use tax to the state.

“As long as there’s no enforcement there’s no compliance and no onus, then everybody sort of forgets,” he said.

To help us remember, the income tax form next spring will have a line to estimate how much you’ve spent online or mail order and then the use tax you owe.

“It will bring in a modicum of money maybe $5-7 million,” Strauss said.

But the state revenue department readily admits it is voluntary compliance because the online and mail order retailers like Amazon have no obligation to report your purchases to Pennsylvania.

“The odds are that the state is not going to be able to audit you,” Strauss explained.

More Local News
Pa. Department of Revenue

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  • Dave

    Another tax that politicians will one day push through.

  • ticked off consumer

    we need a priveledge to be a politician tax and it should be 100% of their pay


    Corbett won’t Dare Tax Marcellus Shale Gas company’s that want to rape this state of our natural resources all to put profits in their fat cat pockets. But he want’s to raise your Taxes against his pledge not to for stuff you buy on the internet. What a Liar and a hypocrit.

  • Jason

    Yeah, I’ll be filling out this form. lol
    This makes me want to purchase even more stuff online and stiff the state.

  • Sage

    “Growing faster than legislative abilities to regulate it…”

    Why do politicians think that everything in life that has $$ signs attached to it has to be regulated.


    I am discusted with you people, I mean how is it that you expect these poor politians to survive if you are evading state taxes??? I mean they gotta eat too!!!

  • Hwright

    LOL Republicans = CROOKS!!!!!!! So nice of them to cut the budgets of our schools and take money away from our kids and then turn around to collect lost revenue that has only benefited the middle class… Great job Corbett you want it ALL I really see that. Dont worry the rich will get away with it this will have no effect on them! LOOPHOLE # 1,999,989….

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