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Sales Tax Charges On Us Stamp Purchases

 
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 02/01/2012   2:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add wt1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This question probably varies from State to State, but I was curious to see an offer from Mystic Stamp Company of Camden, NY suggesting that if I were a resident of New York State, I would have to include NY State Sales Tax on the price of US mint stamps they were offering, plus NY State Sales Tax on the shipping costs of the item(s).

Since stamps purchased from the US Postal Service do not incur sales tax, how is it that stamps on the secondary market do? Also, if I am paying a company to ship items via the USPS, why should sales tax be charged on those fees when it doesn't cost me any sales tax to use the US Mail?
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1128 Posts
Posted 02/01/2012   2:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ncbuckeye to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I know the answer to this one because I have encountered it before! When you purchase a stamp from the post office, you are purchasing a service (mailing an item) which is non-taxable - e.g., it is a purchase from the government and not any paticular state. When you purchase a stamp from Mystic, you are purchasing a commodity, not a service, so you are paying state tax on the commodity. In the eyes of the state, you are not purchasing the stamps to use for postage. Some commodities are specifically exempt from taxes such as certain foodstuffs.
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Edited by ncbuckeye - 02/01/2012 2:25 pm
Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 02/01/2012   2:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks. I guess mailing costs are also considered a commodity in this situation as well? Seems a bit strange, but sales tax laws are never simple. (At least out-of-state shoppers don't have to pay any sales tax to buy from Mystic, it's just a tax on in-state sales.)
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1128 Posts
Posted 02/01/2012   2:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ncbuckeye to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It gets even more complicated. I'm in North Carolina. If I order via internet, they don't charge tax, but if I order over the telephone, they do. I got hit by that one.
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
6407 Posts
Posted 02/01/2012   2:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
fyi, here in Canada we do pay tax on stamps. Our GST - goods and services tax (in some provinces it is referred to as HST - harmonized sales tax - which includes provincial sales tax) is included on top of postage stamps purchased at the post office for mail. The fun never stops.
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Valued Member
United States
109 Posts
Posted 02/01/2012   10:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add falconrw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
We are in California and do internet sales to all states and countries. We must charge sales tax to anyone located in California but not elsewhere. We do not/can not charge sales tax on shipping charges, which is a service. Things used to be the same in all states, but as the coffers of the various state governments dry up and the citizenry of those states get more accustomed to government support, many new revenue streams will be explored and the tax liabilities will increase in ways you never imagined possible.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1947 Posts
Posted 02/02/2012   05:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rohumpy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sales tax on internet purchases has been floated many times.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2659 Posts
Posted 02/02/2012   06:55 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
New York is a weird state. New York expects folks to pay taxes on large priced item purchased from other states. I think it's $400 or more. Thus if you went to a stamp show in New Jersey and bought a $1000 worth of stamps or a new fridge at a Sears, you're suppose to report that on your state income tax forms. I don't think most folks do this unless it has to be registered item like a car or boat. I thought there was something were states were not allowed to regulate commerce between states. It was one of the reason why this country scraped the Articles of Confederation.
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Edited by Battlestamps - 02/02/2012 06:55 am
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United States
4643 Posts
Posted 02/02/2012   12:56 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
New York is a weird state. New York expects folks to pay taxes on large priced item purchased from other states. I think it's $400 or more. Thus if you went to a stamp show in New Jersey and bought a $1000 worth of stamps or a new fridge at a Sears, you're suppose to report that on your state income tax forms. I don't think most folks do this unless it has to be registered item like a car or boat. I thought there was something were states were not allowed to regulate commerce between states. It was one of the reason why this country scraped the Articles of Confederation.


Not unusual at all. It's called a "use tax". Many states have this, although most taxpayers don't know it exists.

Here in Illinois, there has been a use tax on the books for decades but it has never been enforced. Because the state is circling the bowl financially, they've now added a line item to the state 1040 for it, and you are expected to pay 6.25% on any items purchased out of state, via mail order, or via the Internet, that you do not pay sales tax on. Also, if you DID pay sales tax, and it happens to be at a rate lower than 6.25%, you're supposed to pay the difference to the State of Illinois.

No minimum limit; this is on ALL purchases.

A National sales tax or removal of the interstate sales tax exemption is only a matter of time...
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Valued Member
120 Posts
Posted 09/19/2019   12:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Does the official USPS store on eBay charge sales tax?
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Valued Member
United States
154 Posts
Posted 09/20/2019   10:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add therevenueman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sales tax is now being collected by eBay for all transactions, on behalf of the seller of all states that charge tax without regardless of buyer and seller locations. Unless the buyer files exemption/ reseller documents with eBay.
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3714 Posts
Posted 09/20/2019   10:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There is no tax on USPS Store items. Federal entities are exempt.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1266 Posts
Posted 09/23/2019   12:55 am  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Does eBay know?
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Edited by cfrphoto - 09/23/2019 12:55 am
Valued Member
120 Posts
Posted 09/23/2019   7:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
cfrphoto: I read on another forum that eBay does collect sales tax on purchases from the official USPS store on eBay, despite the USPS being a federal entity. I wonder if eBay collects sales tax on food items for home consumption on it's website in states that exempt sales tax collection on food for home consumption?

It doesn't seem fair that state sales tax is collected on purchases of USPS stamps from their official eBay store but not at the post office. I don't know how one would go about obtaining a refund for eBay's erroneous sales tax collection. I don't expect a representative in a foreign call center to know the answer.




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Posted 09/23/2019   7:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There is no tax on USPS stamp and product purchases which are sold directly by the USPS on eBay.
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Valued Member
120 Posts
Posted 09/24/2019   04:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rogdcam: Thank you for the information.

Any users located in a state that collects sales tax on marketplace facilitators (e.g. eBay) and have made a recent purchase on the Official USPS store on eBay to confirm no tax?

The reason I ask is because I would like to make a large purchase of stamps in October (when my state beings collecting sales on marketplace facilitators) on the USPS eBay store and this information will help me decide whether I should purchase online or not.

No intent to belabor the topic.

Respectfully, Torin.


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