Use Tax May Be Due for Online or Catalog Purchases

Date: November 29, 2012

The holiday season has arrived and with consumers breaking online shopping records this year, the North Carolina Department of Revenue is reminding shoppers they may owe taxes on some of their purchases.

The tax owed is called a "use tax" and is due when you purchase products online or from a catalog and the vendor does not charge the sales tax.  North Carolina law requires shoppers to pay the use tax directly to NCDOR. Use tax is due on the total purchase price of products including freight and delivery charges. 

Research indicates North Carolina could lose as much as $214 million in revenue this year from online purchases where neither sales nor use tax is collected.

Shoppers are encouraged to keep track of their untaxed catalog or electronic purchases and pay the use tax when they file their individual income tax return in 2013 for tax year 2012.  There is a line on the income tax return that allows people to report and pay use tax.

"We want to make sure taxpayers are aware of this requirement and help them properly report consumer use tax on their tax returns in April," Secretary of Revenue David Hoyle said.

More information about use tax can be found on the department's website or those with questions may contact the Taxpayer Assistance Division at 1-877-252-3052.


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