published Monday, September 3rd, 2012

States target online taxes

Workers are busy finishing a warehouse that will house an Amazon.com distribution center near Gladeville. Announced in December, this order fulfillment center and one in Murfreesboro are slated to open this fall and eventually create as many as 1,500 jobs. / Larry McCormack / The Tennessean
Workers are busy finishing a warehouse that will house an Amazon.com distribution center near Gladeville. Announced in December, this order fulfillment center and one in Murfreesboro are slated to open this fall and eventually create as many as 1,500 jobs. / Larry McCormack / The Tennessean
Photo by The Tennessean /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

TO PAY USE TAX

Go to the Tennessee Department of Revenue website at www.state.tn.us/revenue and fill out a form describing how much was spent and calculating the tax owed. Consumers also may print out a form (http:///forms/sales/r0000501.pdf) and mail their tax payments.

Gov. Bill Haslam didn't mince words in July when he testified before Congress about the revenue Tennessee was losing from consumers who didn't pay taxes for online purchases.

"That money could fund critical programs that vulnerable citizens rely on," Haslam said. "It could help cover federal mandates that states face, or it could go back to the taxpayers in the form of further tax relief."

He was testifying on behalf of the National Governors Association in support of a measure that would allow states to require retailers to collect tax for purchases whether made online, through a catalog or a television commercial.

To demonstrate just how widespread unpaid Internet sales taxes are, the governor could have used his own gubernatorial campaign as an example.

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