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Boose: Online sales tax collection complicated issue

Scott Seitz2 • Jul 25, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Several states have joined together in the attempt to better collect online sales tax.

"We still don't have any real authority until the federal law is changed," State Rep. Terry Boose said.

"So, we've joined a multi-state effort to collect on this," he added. "By doing that, we've collected a little more than we used to."

Boose (R-Norwalk Township) said the entire industry of online sales and sales/use tax has been a discussion for years.

"For example, we can't force a company in Pennsylvania to collect sales tax," he said.

"This is very, very complicated," Boose said. "We've been asking, businesses or residents, if they do purchase something from outside the state, they pay the sales tax owed to us.

"Everybody should be paying the tax," he added.

"Can we enforce those outside of Ohio to pay the tax?" Boose said. "Most people don't."

Boose said there's actually a part of the state income tax form where if a person purchases something from outside Ohio, they can pay the sales tax when they file their return at that time.

"Again, most people don't do it, but they are supposed to pay," he said. "I would say that 99.9 percent of the people who might purchase something from Amazon, don't do it."

Boose said the issue must be resolved at the federal level.

"The issue has been discussed at the federal and state level and also the supreme court," he said.

"A company like Walmart wants this to be enforced because they say it's unfair for those online who are not charged the sales tax while they have to charge it," Boose said.

"But, a company like Amazon doesn't want it," he added.

"This is an important topic, but until something is settled on the federal level it is very hard to enforce," Boose said.

Boose did note the state was able to bring in a few million more dollars recently from online sales in taxes due to the multi-state effort.

"It's an improvement," he said.

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