Black Friday and Sales Tax: Another Reason to Spend It Online

Black Friday

For those thinking about hitting the Black Friday sales this coming weekend, think again. The queues will be extremely long and no-one is guaranteed to get the items that they want. Spending time at home is just one of the reasons to shop online. Another reason to spend Black Friday online is to cut out the chance of paying sales tax.

Where there is no physical presence in a state, the sales tax does not need to be applied to the goods by the company. However, brick and mortar stores automatically find that they need to add the extra charge and the buyers spend extra. Whether it is Black Friday or a special day of the year, the law remains the same and the tax is added onto the purchases at the checkout.

There are times that that tax is applied online. This is when the store has a physical presence within the state, despite the products being shipped from out of the state or even outside of the country. Some companies will add the sales tax onto their goods, which is worth being aware of, but not all businesses choose to do this.

A ruling by the Supreme Court in 1992 made it clear that those outside of the state did not need to apply the tax onto their goods. This is something that brick and mortar stores are complaining about. It is not fair that they have to charge extra and means they are losing out on business. People will shop for ideas in a store but then shop online to find it for less and from a store that does not have the extra charge. Many Black Friday shoppers will find online spending is better and the sales tax is a bonus reason.

Congress is currently looking into the law and have proposed a new bill, which will see a change to the way online stores get away with not adding the tax. Any business whether it is within the state or not will need to add the charge to their orders, except for those who make less than $1 million through their sales. This will help to protect the smaller businesses and those struggling to get off the ground.

However, this new bill would require the state laws to change. At the moment collecting the gains from the tax is too difficult to simply introduce the bill.

Black Friday is one of the most popular shopping days of the year and this year is likely to be no different. The queues will be long and some of the sales are stretching backwards into Thanksgiving Day, which is starting to be renamed as Brown Thursday.

Buyers want to save themselves time and money. One of the best options is to do their shopping online. It is possible to sit at home, set up alerts and track the best deals throughout the day. Just another reason of online shopping is the ability to pay less where sales tax does not imply on the Black Friday spending. This may not be the case next year, so it is worth using the advantage right now.

By Alexandria Ingham


The Washington Post


One Response to "Black Friday and Sales Tax: Another Reason to Spend It Online"

  1. Jack Tuttle   November 26, 2013 at 6:38 am

    This article makes the precarious claim that online purchases incur no taxes. The law says online retailers without physical presence don’t have to collect taxes. Instead, consumers are responsible for calculating and paying these taxes when they pay their income taxes. This article makes it sound like online purchases are tax free, which they are not.


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