Tax Commission News Release
If you shop online or by catalog, remember to report use tax on your income tax return
BOISE, IDAHO – Feb. 10, 2011 – If you shop online, from catalogs, or by phone, you may not be charged sales tax on your purchases. If that’s the case, Idaho law says you owe use tax to the state.
Use tax is a tax on goods that are put to use or stored in Idaho. If you don’t pay sales tax on the goods you buy, then you owe use tax unless an Idaho exemption applies.
Also, if you travel outside the state and buy untaxed merchandise that’s brought in or shipped to your Idaho home, you owe use tax. The use tax rate is 6%, the same as the sales tax.
It’s easy to report and pay use tax on your Idaho income tax return. For untaxed purchases made in 2010, just fill in Line 30 on Idaho Form 40 for residents, or Line 50 on Form 43 if you were a part-year resident.
Another way to pay use tax anytime during the year is to download a Form 850-U, Idaho Self-Assessed Use Tax Worksheet and Return, from the Idaho State Tax Commission website, tax.idaho.gov. You can fill out the form and return it to the Tax Commission with the amount of use tax you owe.
“Idaho loses about $30 million a year from unpaid use tax,” said Dan John, tax policy manager for the Tax Commission. “Online and catalog businesses that don’t charge sales tax have an unfair competitive edge over local retailers, who have to charge the tax.”
In 2010, Idahoans paid nearly $407,000 in use tax on their income tax returns.
For more information on use tax, visit tax.idaho.gov or call (800) 972-7660 toll free or 334-7660 in the Boise area.
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