Online Shoppers Get Ready To Pay -

Online Shoppers Get Ready To Pay

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Jan. 31 is the first official day to file your 2013 taxes. Jan. 31 is the first official day to file your 2013 taxes.

If you shop online to avoid paying sales tax -- bad news -- you are required to pay it and now is the time to do so.

“The way it works is those companies don't charge sales tax for any of their purchases, so what they do at the end of the year is they send you a statement of the amount of purchases you made through them and you are required to pay sales tax to the state of South Carolina for that amount,” said David Batson with Liberty Tax on White Horse Road in Greenville.

Batson says South Carolina expects you to be honest and pay the 6 percent use tax rate on every purchase you made online from retailers, like Amazon.

“I received an email that totaled all my 2013 purchases on Amazon,” says shopper Amanda Wells, “and it informed me that I do owe tax on that total."

“I just feel like that is the right thing to do,” said online shopper Milton Johnson.

On the state's 1040 form, there is a line to add up the ‘use tax.’

North Carolina is no longer relying on honesty.

On Feb. 1, North Carolina will become the 20th state in which Amazon collects taxes from its customers.

That won’t happen in South Carolina until 2016. So for now, Batson recommends keeping all of your purchase receipts.

Amazon or any web-based business that doesn't collect sales tax is required to send you the amount of your purchases made through them. Batson says they are not mandated to report that information to the IRS, but that doesn't mean you're off the hook.

“You could be audited and end up having to go pay that tax."

If you are like most online shoppers, you want the best deal. Batson warns don’t miss this opportunity or you could end up paying more than you bargained for.

The deadline to file your taxes is April 15.

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