Why Vermont's Asking Taxpayers to Recount Their 3-Year Shopping History
The Vermont Department of Taxes has a bit of an awkward question for you.
About 20,000 Vermonters are receiving letters asking them to double-check their tax returns for the last three years. Have you crossed the border to shop in New Hampshire, or ordered items from an online retailer that doesn't charge sales tax? If so, you may have an obligation to pay Vermont 6 percent. Most Vermonters haven't paid anything.
"I understand it's an awkward thing to have to keep track of," said Kaj Samsom, commissioner of the state tax department.
Vermont's 6 percent use tax is paid directly by consumers for out-of-state purchases that would normally be subject to sales tax if they were bought from a Vermont retailer. Think televisions, alcohol and handbags, but not food or clothing.
The state is mounting a new effort to collect use tax, and new laws will make it harder for consumers to avoid paying in the future.