Randolph Law Firm, P.C.

Tax issues can arise for Nevada residents buying products online

Buying products online is convenient, and often can result in a much more successful shopping experience when you're looking for products that can't be found locally. But tax issues can result if you are not taking stock of the sales tax you owe here in Nevada, even on products you've purchased elsewhere. The law currently doesn't allow the government to easily keep track of these taxable purchases, but that is slated to change with new legislature in the coming years.

Right now, companies are only required to charge sales tax in the states in which they have physical, brick-and-mortar locations. Large corporations with multiple locations nationwide like Wal-Mart therefore charge tax on all online purchases. But web-based businesses like Amazon, with only one or two central locations across the country, do not. The same goes for many small businesses.

However, the laws are not so lax as to let you off the hook in terms of being responsible for sales tax in your home state. Technically speaking, sales tax not charged by a company is still owed on your tax return in the form of "use taxes", which are supposed to apply to purchases made in a variety of remote ways including online, through catalogs, and others. A new U.S. Senate bill will work to plug this existing loophole and require businesses to collect sales tax on all sales regardless of location.

Tax issues can sneak up on the unaware, but it is the responsibility of each Nevada resident, and residents of every state, to remain up-to-date on their responsibilities come tax time. If ever you are unsure about whether or not you owe money on your return, it is important to double check that information. The items you bought online aren't worth a visit from the tax man.

Source: cnbc.com, "Are You a Tax Cheat If You Shop Online Tax-Free?" May 5, 2013

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