With Cyber Monday less than a week away, holiday shoppers are busy buying gifts online. But many shoppers don’t realize if they purchase items on the Internet, they still owe the state some money.
It’s called the use tax and it’s been around since 1965. It applies to anything you buy over the phone, mail-order, or the Internet. It’s the same rate as the regular sales tax, 6 percent.
Randy Tilley with the Idaho Tax Commission says most people don’t know about or understand the tax. In fact, less than 2 percent of Idahoans paid the tax last year. Tilley says the use tax helps Idaho retailers compete with out-of-state companies that don’t charge sales tax.
You can report and pay your use tax on your Idaho tax return. Tilley says keep track of what you buy online, and at the end of the year, total the sales that didn't include tax, and make your payment with your annual tax forms. There’s also a special tax form you can use to pay the tax at any time.
The Idaho Tax Commission made this video explaining the use tax and how to pay it.
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio