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Sales Tax: What It Is And How It Is Imposed? - Articles Surfing

A sales tax is a tax that is placed on the purchases of goods or services. The federal government does not have a national sales tax. Qualifying products or services are only taxable by a particular state government.

Each state has the ability to impose their own sales tax rate. At the current time Oregon, New Hampshire, Montana, Hawaii, and Delaware are the only states that do not impose a state sales tax. It is possible for different counties inside these states to impose their own local sales tax. The local sales tax generally depends on the preferences of local lawmakers and taxpayers. States that do impose a state sales tax also allow individual counties to impose an additional local sales tax. The combination of a local sales tax and a state sales tax is the total sales tax shoppers pay when purchasing taxable items.

In addition to imposing their own state sales tax, each state has the option of allowing tax exclusions on certain items. Each state will vary; however, it is not uncommon for certain foods and medications to be excluded from a state sales tax. There are also many states that regularly offer sales tax breaks for a period of time. New York, for instance, generally has a period of one week that clothing is excluded from the state sales tax. This week typically occurs before children go back to school; therefore, it gives many parents and other taxpayers a great deal when purchasing back-to-school or work clothing. While a state government may impose a state tax break each local county has the option of doing so too. A break from both local and state taxes does occur; however, it is completely optional and up to the lawmakers of a particular county.

There are certain circumstances when an individual who may be required by their state to pay a sales tax gets around doing so. These situations most commonly occur when an individual travels to an area that does not have a state sales tax or when items are purchased over the Internet. The majority of online business retailers will impose state tax when an item is purchased over the Internet; however, items purchased from a small online business or an online auction site are generally not taxed. These types of purchases must be reported on an income state tax return. Each state is likely to use a different method for determining how much sales tax an individual must pay on items or services purchased without being taxed. It is also possible for an additional local tax to be imposed on those items that were purchased outside of the state or county that an individual resides in. http://www.taxhelpdirectory.com/statetax/.

If an individual reports the amount of sales tax they need to pay with their state incomes taxes, the information will be computed together. This allows many individuals to automatically apply their estimated state tax return to the amount of money they owe on any local or state sales taxes. As with traditional taxes owed, the amount of money owed on sales tax must be paid for by the April 15th tax deadline. Individuals can file for a deadline extension; however, the estimated amount of money owed must still be paid on time. Individuals who are unable to pay the amount owed on sales tax are subject to late fees and additional penalties.

Individuals who do not report items they purchased without paying state or local sales tax put themselves at risk for fines and penalties. To prevent yourself from being fined by your state, taxpayers are encouraged to keep documentations of all of their online and out-of-state purchases even if a sales tax was paid. Keeping yourself organized and prepared is the best way to prevent yourself from being audited or penalized by your state government.

Submitted by:

Gray Rollins

Gray Rollins is a featured writer for the Tax Help Directory. To learn more about sales tax, visit http://www.taxhelpdirectory.com/salestax/ and to learn more about flat taxes, visit http://www.taxhelpdirectory.com/flattax/.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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