Vermont Tax Dept. Increases Awareness Of Use Tax

Communities / Sep. 7, 2017 9:06am EDT

The Vermont Department of Taxes is reaching out with a “come forward” program for individuals who may not know what Vermont Use Tax is and when it is due.

Use tax is due when a seller does not charge the buyer Vermont Sales Tax on an item that is taxable in Vermont. Taxable items sold over the internet, by mail, by phone, or bought out-of-state and used in Vermont, generally qualify. Use tax is not a new tax. It has been in effect since Vermont established a sales tax in 1969.

Despite many Vermonters making purchases online or other places that do not charge sales tax on taxable items, use tax is not widely understood. The department has recently started an educational letter campaign to increase awareness and allow taxpayers an opportunity to pay use tax they owe.

“Use tax helps our businesses in Vermont compete with online businesses and businesses in states, such as New Hampshire, that do not have a sales tax,” said Commissioner Kaj Samsom. “It levels the playing field by creating a fair marketplace for our Vermont businesses who have to collect sales tax.

“We know that any letter from the department can seem intimidating, but we think increasing awareness of this tax is important,” Samsom said. “If you review the information and determine that you do not owe use tax, then you can simply recycle the letter.”

These letters illustrate an individual’s history of paying use tax, as well as provide information that allows an individual to determine if use tax was owed in the last three years. To pay use tax, log on to myVTax.vermont.gov and complete the online form by clicking “Pay Use Tax.” The department is also offering a penalty- and interest-free period until October 31, for those individuals who file and pay before that date.

For more information, visit www.tax.vermont.gov/individuals/ income-tax-returns/use-tax or contact the Taxpayer Services Division at 802-828-2865 or tax.use@ vermont.gov.

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