The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Tuesday, February 8, 2011:
Have you made any purchases on the internet or from a catalog, lately…purchases like books, clothing or electronics? Do you remember whether you paid sales tax on those purchases?
Well, here's the deal…If you made those purchases thru businesses located in Alabama or that have a physical presence of some kind, here in Alabama, then you're probably okay…because those businesses are responsible for collecting and reporting those sales taxes. However, if you bought goods from an out-of-state retailer, you may or may not have paid sales tax on your purchase, because the out-of-state retailer is not responsible for reporting the sales tax generated by your purchase. YOU are responsible for reporting it to the Alabama Department of Revenue. Did you know that?
You may ask, "How will they know"? Last fall, the state began to randomly send out letters to taxpayers who did not mark an amount due for the sales tax, called consumer use tax, on their state income tax return for the tax years 2006 thru 2008.
The revenue generated by consumer use tax…millions of dollars each year… is money that is designated for Alabama's Education Trust Fund. While tracking this revenue is not easy…yet…the state is working on systems to improve their ability to do so. For more information go to the website shown at the bottom of the screen.
If you would like to respond to this editorial, email firstname.lastname@example.org, write
P.O. Box 6
Birmingham, Alabama 35201
or call 205 583 4328
Your comments may be used on WBRC or on MyFOXAL.com