- Days left

If you're planning a major purchase via the Internet, you might want to do it quickly. Congress is expected to introduce a bill this week that would require Amazon.com, L.L. Bean, Cabela's and other online merchants to collect sales tax on all online purchases and return that money to the state in which the purchaser resides.

I was recently shopping for a TV for a relative, and found that I could save $70 by buying it online and having it shipped to her address. That savings was primarily in sales tax. And while my state requires taxpayers to claim all online purchases and pay the sales tax on them, it doesn't seem to be able to enforce the tax. This is good for bargain hunters, but terrible for local merchants.

For those used to buying $.99 iTunes or other more tangible items, this will be an immediate price hike. Californians, for example, will pay an extra 7.25%. We'll see when the bill is introduced it if also included local sales taxes, which can bump this up to 8% or more for many of us.

Although the bill is strongly opposed by online merchants, the states have suffered a reported 6.1% decline in sales tax revenue due to the recession. Because of this, states are in dire straits. I wouldn't be surprised to see this measure fly through Congress, so don't delay that major purchase too long. You might even consider doing your Christmas shopping now. Where else can you put your money that will bring an 8% return in eight months?

For tips on relieving your money madness, check out Send in the Clowns, the stress management episode from WalletPop's video series, Loose Change:

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Advice for Recent College Grads

Prepare yourself for the "real world".

View Course »

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Depreciation of Business Assets

In an effort to stimulate the economy by encouraging businesses to buy new assets, Congress approved special depreciation and expensing rules for property acquired in 2014. However, beginning in 2015, we are back to the old depreciation rules.

Tax Deduction Wisdom - Should You Itemize?

Learn whether itemizing your deductions makes sense, or if you should simply take the no-questions-asked standard deduction. The standard deduction is always easier, but for one out of every four taxpayers, itemizing pays off with a lower tax bill. Browse this quick tax deduction overview to avoid paying more taxes than you actually owe.

Tax Breaks and Home Ownership

Home ownership brings with it not only many trips to home improvement stores, but also a slew of tax breaks. It's up to you to take full advantage of the write-offs available to you. Here's what you can and can't deduct.

When to Use Tax Form 1099-C for Cancellation of Debt

In most situations, if you receive a Form 1099-C from a lender after negotiating a debt cancellation with them, you'll have to report the amount on that form to the Internal Revenue Service as taxable income. Certain exceptions do apply.

What is IRS Form 8917?

If you, your spouse or dependents attended post-secondary school, you may be able to deduct a portion of the tuition and fees by reporting it on IRS Form 8717.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum