Cyber shopping not tax-free
BATON ROUGE - You may not be charged tax when online shopping, but that doesn't mean your purchases are tax-free.
Web retailers like Amazon.com aren't required to collect sales tax in states like Louisiana because there's no 'brick-and-mortar' store in the state, but Louisiana still requires consumers to pay up for their purchases.
This "use" tax is applied to anything brought into the state that was purchased without Louisiana sales tax being applied. So people shopping for Christmas gifts online are required to report it on their taxes at the end of the year.
"The sales tax applies to the purchase whether you buy it at a brick and mortar store in Louisiana, from an online retailer that does charge sales tax, or one that does not," said Byron Henderson with the Department of Revenue.
The Department of Revenue says this use tax prevents retailers outside the state from having an unfair advantage against in-state retailers who must charge sales tax.
The Department of Revenue provides a tax worksheet to document your online purchases and ensure you pay all your taxes. Visit their website for more information.