From: Lew Jansen (lrj_at_hepth.cornell.edu)
Date: Wed Jun 28 1995 - 17:11:34 EDT
> > Buying by mail order does not absolve the buyer from his obligation to pay
> > state and local sales tax on any such goods purchased.
> Can you cite a ruling? Last I knew, the U.S. Constitution gave Congress
> the sole power to regulate (and tax) interstate commerce.
I can't cite a ruling, but I have heard this also -- the trick is apparently
that most states have a "use tax" that is equivalent to the sales tax. If you
buy something via mailorder (interstate commerce), your state taxes your use
of the item, and not the actual sale.
Of course, I'm no lawyer and I haven't seen the specific laws involved, so I
could very well be wrong. On the other hand, I can't see New York state NOT
taxing everything they can get their blasted hands on. I figure the only thing
stopping them from doing it right now is that the cost of gathering the info
and enforcing the tax exceeds the expected revenues.
-- Lew Jansen Systems Manager, High Energy Physics Theory lrj_at_hepth.cornell.edu 233 Newman Lab, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853
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