Almanac

Viewpoint - March 17, 2010

Letter: Are you paying out-of-state use tax?

I agree with Clark Kepler (Guest Opinion, March 10) that large online retailers should collect sales taxes.

However, a point he (and many other people) seem to miss is that it shouldn't actually affect state revenue whether they do or not — because we, as taxpayers, are legally required to pay a use tax if the retailer doesn't charge us a sales tax.

"I've never heard of this!" you may be saying. I suggest you take another look at the tax forms you might be working on right now. It's line 25 of schedule 540EZ or line 95 of schedule 540. (The use tax applies to any purchase made out of state but used in California, not just an online purchase. I believe this is why some yacht owners are very careful about where they dock.)

Kevin Holsinger

O'Keefe Street, Menlo Park

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