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Author: GlowingFire wrote:
"I'm just sitting here, minding my own business, reading the newspaper because I've finished my
taxes, and I see an article in The New York Times that describes how most people dodge the taxes
they are supposed to pay on mail orders."

States can collect sales taxes under certain conditions on mail order purchases. If the selling organization has a "nexus" of business in your state, then they are required to collect sales taxes on your order. An outlet in the state would qualify. So serveral of the businesses that you named probably have already collected the correct sales tax. States can not require you to pay a "sales tax" if the business does not have a "nexus" as this would interfer with interstate commerce which is prohibited by the US constitution.

However, some states can and do have a way around this. Illinois has a Use Tax which is the equivalent of a sales tax. If you purchase an item in another state for use in Illinois, then you are required to pay essentially the difference between the Illinois sales tax rate and the sales tax that you paid in the other state. It is difficult for them get the information on these sales. However, many states are working with large mailorder houses to get records of sales and then go after violators.

Also, as I interpret the Illinois Use tax, if you purchase an item via mail order that is sent to someone outside of Illinois, then I am not required to pay the use tax. So for Christmas presents sent to relatives in other states, you probably are not required to pay the tax.
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