Law-Abiding Virginians Already Taxed for Internet Purchases
I am puzzled at the furor over taxes on the Internet ("Taxes that could crash the Internet," Commentary, Nov. 7). Guess what: The Internet (that is, goods and services bought on line) already is taxed.
As a resident of Virginia, each year when I file my income tax return, I am required to pay a consumer's use tax on goods I bought "from businesses that did not charge sales tax." Essentially, this is a tax on mail-order items. When I buy from Amazon.com or E-Bay, I am not charged a sales tax, so I must pay the Consumer's Use tax for those things, as well.
Page 2 of the 1998 Virginia Tax Forms booklet states: "Remember, if you purchased more than $100 in goods during the taxable year from businesses that did not charge you sales tax, you must pay consumer's use tax on the total amount of those purchases. The tax is 4% of what you paid for the item, excluding any separately stated shipping charge. …