Idaho State Tax Commission

Idaho State Tax Commission

Online, Catalog, and Out-of-state Shopping

If you're an individual shopping on the Internet, making purchases through a catalog, or buying items out of state, you may be responsible for paying an Idaho tax on your purchases.

Forms/publications

  • Form 850-U, Idaho Self-Assessed Use Tax Worksheet and Return
  • Form 1350-U, Idaho Self-Assessed Tobacco Tax Worksheet and Return

Use tax is due on most untaxed sales

If a retailer doesn't charge Idaho sales tax on your purchases, you owe use tax to the state, unless an Idaho exemption applies. Use tax is a tax on goods you store or put to use in Idaho, if you haven't already paid sales tax on them.

Some retailers don't have a presence in Idaho and aren't required to collect Idaho sales tax. However, a few businesses without an Idaho presence voluntarily collect the tax.

Internet and catalog companies that have a business location or employees in Idaho must collect Idaho sales tax. Whenever you buy items on the Internet, make purchases over the phone, subscribe to a magazine, or order through mail-order catalogs and the items are shipped to you in Idaho, they're subject to sales tax. Check your bill or statement to see if you were charged tax. If you weren't, you owe use tax.

Reporting and paying use tax

You can pay use tax:

  • On your annual Idaho income tax return (see the Other Taxes section for "Sales/Use tax due on mail order, Internet, and other nontaxed purchases"), or
  • On a Form 850-U, Idaho Self-Assessed Use Tax Worksheet and Return

If you have minimal use tax due annually, you can use either method above. If you have frequent or large purchases subject to use tax, it's best to use Form 850-U periodically rather than wait until income tax filing time.

Buying cigarettes, tobacco products, or wine

You may be responsible for certain other taxes.

Buying boats, cars, or aircraft

Generally, if you're an Idaho resident and you buy a car or an RV from a dealer outside of Idaho, you won't be charged Idaho sales tax. Also, private parties who sell these vehicles don't collect tax.

When you register a vehicle in Idaho, you pay the sales tax to the county assessor. However, you need to pay use tax directly to the state for other types of motorized vehicles, some boats, and aircraft that you buy out of state or from individuals. Be sure to make your use tax payment soon after you buy these items.

Credit for another state's sales tax

Idaho allows credit for sales tax correctly* paid to another state, up to the amount you would owe in Idaho. For example, if you buy a computer while you're in Washington State and pay tax to the retailer, you won't owe any Idaho tax because the Washington State and local sales tax will equal or exceed what you would owe in Idaho.

If you buy something while in another state and are charged less than the Idaho rate, you owe Idaho the difference in use tax. Idaho doesn't allow credit for sales tax paid to other countries, regardless of the amount.

*Some retailers mistakenly believe they should collect their state's sales tax when they ship or deliver items to locations outside of their state. If you see another state's tax on an invoice for items you bought over the Internet or through a mail-order catalog, don't pay the tax. If Idaho sales tax is not paid, you owe Idaho use tax. You owe another state's sales tax only if you pick up your items in that state.

Laws and rules

  • Sales Tax Law Chapter 63:3621(a) and (j): Imposition and Rate of the Use Tax -- Exemptions
  • Sales Tax Law Chapter 63:3611: Retailer Engaged in Business in This State
  • Sales Tax Rule 72 Application and Payment of Use Tax [PDF]
  • Any proposed or temporary rules can be seen through this page.

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Last updated Sept. 12, 2012