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NJ has been generally inept at figuring out who to go after, but exceptionally tenacious once they've identified a target.

And has an utterly indecipherable tax system. (At least to those who don't practice in it regularly.)


I make quite an effort to pay the end-use tax when I buy something from out of state, but it is impossible to do this correctly. I do the best I can. No one else I know ever pays the end-use tax.

The big problem I have is that I cannot find a complete list of taxable items and untaxable items. Either list would be enough. I did find a publication of a couple of dozen pages that gave examples of taxable items, but it said it was not complete, and a list of untaxable items, that it also said was not complete. And there is no logic to either list. One example (and I may have this backwards): books are taxable and magazines are not. I assume a paperback with perfect binding is a book and thus taxable, and a magazine with a staple or two is a magazine. But how about a fat magazine with stapled perfect binding? Is Cosmo a book or a magazine? If it comes out regularly, is it a magazine? How about "What Color Is Your Parachute" that comes out once a year? Is it a magazine?

Food is not taxable, unless you eat it in a restaurant, in which case it is taxable. What if you buy it at a street fair? If you eat it before you bring it back in the state, it is probably not taxable.

Another problem is that some on-line vendors DO charge me end use tax, and some (Amazon comes to mind) do not. So I must keep track of every damned thing I buy out of state, guess if it is taxable, remember if I paid the tax, etc... I happen to use GnuCash, but Quicken could manage this too. But I must remember to record each item purchased, and separate them according to the taxable and untaxable list, and flip a coin on the other things... If there must be end use taxes (I think they are unconstitutional, an import tax on things imported to the states, but they do not care what I think), I think they should be uniform across the states, the Federal Government should collect it, and distribute it ALL to the states. But if that almost happened, I do not suppose the states would get it all.

I think my friends who never pay end use tax may have the right idea. Any state whose laws are too incomprehensible to obey deserves to have them disobeyed.

Ever look at the U.S.Criminal Code? IIRC, it is about 4 to 6 feet of thick books on my public library's shelves. I never chose to look inside them. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, they say, but that is ridiculous. I have no idea if I obey all those laws or not. I do not even know how many there are. Did my congressman or senator actually read all the bills that must have been passed to get such a code? Not likely. How about the Internal Revenue Code? It must be at least as bad. Now about the states, counties, municipalities...

I suppose all laws are passed to benefit lawyers.
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