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Online Sales Increase

December 28th, 2009 by flanews

Holiday sales rose 3.6 percent overall this year with online sales seeing the largest increase in traffic. Online sales jumped 15 percent according to data collected by MasterCard. As Whitney Ray tells us, the news is good for Florida retailers but bad for the state, which has a hard time collecting online sales taxes.

The presents have been opened, the Christmas ornaments stowed away, now Santa has started a new naughty or nice list for 2010. Millions of Floridians will unknowingly make the naughty list by not paying sales tax on things bought online this Christmas.

Kyla Nettles searched the web for an antique Coca-Cola collectable for her grandma.

It took all day but I ended up finding it on EBay. I paid nine dollars for it shipping and all, said Kyla.

Grandma got the gift while the state got stiffed. Online stores with offices in Florida add the state sales tax into the price total.

Stores like Ebay and Amazon.com place the tax burden on their shoppers.

Rob Weissert with Florida TaxWatch says, by not collecting the tax, online stores are making criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens.

We are turning average Floridians into tax dodgers. Most people dont even know they owe it, much less how to pay it, said Weissert.

Online companies that dont collect sales tax are often able to undercut instate stores. The Florida Retail Federation says its best to shop close to home.

Our request is you shop with those who support you; Those who pay property taxes. Those who employ people in your hometown, said Rick McAllister.

But for people who do buy over the web from out-of-state vendors, staying on Santas good side, or more importantly the laws, means making your own sales tax list and checking it twice.

Floridians who buy from online stores that havent already collected the tax can download a form on the Department of Revenues website. The link to the DR15MO form is http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/2009/dr15mo.pdf

Posted in Children, Economy, Politics, State Budget, State News | 1 Comment »

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