Tennessee Shoppers Could Be Billed For Untaxed Online Purchases

After seeing some friends getting this, I have my turn for receiving a statement from Amazon.com via e-mail. The message states that based on some purchases, the customer may be charged Tennessee sales tax for the previous year if it was not charged at the time of purchase.

If you’re a resident of this state, then you will need to pay it. However, this law doesn’t apply to out-of-state residents. Amazon customers in Tennessee should come to expect an e-mail soon. Here is the message they sent me today:

 

Hello from Amazon.com,
Thank you for being a loyal customer of Amazon.com LLC. We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to provide you vast selection, low prices, fast delivery and convenience.

As you may know, Amazon.com LLC is not required to collect sales or use taxes in Tennessee. However, the state of Tennessee requires us to provide the following notice to you:

You may owe use tax on purchases you made from Amazon.com LLC during the previous calendar year. The amount of tax you may owe is based on the total sales price of the items you purchased during the calendar year unless an exemption exists under state law or you have already paid the tax. A sale is not exempt under state law because it is made through the Internet. The total sales price of purchases you had shipped to Tennessee in 2011 was $XX.XX. This is the amount that you may include on your Tennessee use tax return to calculate the appropriate use tax owed unless you have already paid the tax.

As purchases from Amazon.com LLC can be made through various sales channels, we have included directly below your breakdown of purchases from the various channels.

Total sales from http://www.amazon.com $XX.XX
Total sales from http://www.endless.com $0.00
Total sales from http://www.myhabit.com $0.00
Total sales from http://www.amazonwireless.com $0.00
Total sales from http://www.smallparts.com $0.00

In addition, the state of Tennessee requires us to provide you with the following link that you can use to get more information and pay any taxes due:

Use Tax Page: https://apps.tn.gov/usetax

Please note the following:
• While Amazon.com LLC does not report this information directly to the state of Tennessee we are required to provide this information to you based on Tennessee Code T.C.A. § 67-6-5 (f)(3) signed into law March 23, 2012.
• This notification has been sent to all customers that had purchases delivered to Tennessee. If you are not a resident of Tennessee, the most common reason for receiving this notification is that you may have sent a gift to a recipient in the state.

For more information you may also view our Tennessee Use Tax Notification Page at:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200909330

Sincerely,
Customer Service
Amazon.com

Honestly, this whole ordeal is a load of poop. While Amazon claims that it doesn’t have to include sales tax, they really should include it at the time of purchase. This is really bad practice to make its customers wait to get a tax statement a year later and pay a sum of cash since the service was too lazy add the charge. Regular, physical stores don’t do that so why should on-line stores be exempt.

The company should also be aware of state and federal laws and inform their customers AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE that they may be liable to taxes later on. Because everybody loves getting a statement later that suggests, “Oh, we forgot to tell you that you owe money for unpaid taxes. It’s not our responsibility.”

This kind of tomfoolery will drive away customers, which is why I am no longer purchasing anything from Amazon or any online retailer that doesn’t charge you tax straight off the bat. At least, that is my idea until it changes because I don’t want to be responsible for paying a bill that could be too much to handle. I don’t want to waste my time filling out forms so the state can take away money. You don’t do that with Kroger or 7-eleven so why should you for Amazon.

By the way state of Tennessee, you need to enforce online retailers to charge tax at the time of sale. Even with the law in effect, Amazon still doesn’t add the sales tax. It is a shame because I liked finding some awesome stuff on the website.

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