Been shopping online tax-free? You may be about to get a bill - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Been shopping online tax-free? You may be about to get a bill

FOX 8 Photo FOX 8 Photo
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

If you’ve enjoyed buying online for years without having to pay sales taxes, those days are coming to an end. New laws are kicking in that will be a game -changer, and many small businesses are happy.

For years, small business owners have complained about what they call an unfair advantage given to large online retailers who many believe hurt local business. Amazon now rakes in more than $200 billion a year, thanks in part to purchases that are often made without customers having to pay sales taxes.

"No offense to Jeff Bezos at Amazon, he gets richer and richer, but he rakes the small business community over the coals," said local business owner Rhonda Findley.

Now, under new laws passed in Congress and in Baton Rouge, states are about to get something they have been wanting for a long time.

"It requires remote retailers to notify shoppers of purchases subject to the state use tax," said Byron Henderson with the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

Notices are now going out to online customers telling them what their un-taxed purchases were, and the state is about to start holding customers' feet to the fire.

"Now with the backing of the letter being sent out by the company, the state now has leverage," said CPA Kemberly Washington.

And if you don't pay the taxes on your state tax return, there could be penalties.

"Just like with any tax that goes unpaid or unreported, it's subject to late filing and payment penalties," said Henderson.

Getting to this point was no small feat. States and local small businesses fought for the newly passed requirements for years, hoping to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

"It's been on our radar since we started a small business, and we realized online sales were very competitive to the local market," said Findley.

She says the new tax disclosure laws will help level the playing field, and help the community.

"If you want to get your kids a business opportunity, Amazon won't do it, it's the small businesses that will," said Findley.

The new online tax notifications were made possible by an act passed by the Legislature in 2016. It applies to all out-of-state online retailers whose sales exceed $50,000.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • Local/State NewsMore>>

  • Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread message

    Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread message

    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:18 PM EST2018-02-25 04:18:58 GMT
    LSU Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread their message (Source: WAFB)LSU Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread their message (Source: WAFB)
    LSU Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread their message (Source: WAFB)LSU Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread their message (Source: WAFB)
    Some LSU students are finding their inner purpose through yoga. “It’s something that you just have to be passionate about,” said Meagan Morvant, member of Tigers with Purpose and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). More specifically, these students are Tigers with Purpose. “People don’t’ realize, one that pediatric cancer is different from adult cancer. Adult cancer can’t cure pediatric cancers or treat pediatric cancer...More >>
    Some LSU students are finding their inner purpose through yoga. “It’s something that you just have to be passionate about,” said Meagan Morvant, member of Tigers with Purpose and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). More specifically, these students are Tigers with Purpose. “People don’t’ realize, one that pediatric cancer is different from adult cancer. Adult cancer can’t cure pediatric cancers or treat pediatric cancer...More >>
  • Arrest made in fatal double shooting that left 1 dead, 1 critical

    Arrest made in fatal double shooting that left 1 dead, 1 critical

    Two people were shot Sunday night, leaving one dead, investigators said. The victim who died was identified as Tr'markus Taylor, 20, of Baton Rouge.

    More >>

    Two people were shot Sunday night, leaving one dead, investigators said. The victim who died was identified as Tr'markus Taylor, 20, of Baton Rouge.

    More >>
  • Louisiana Republicans elect first new leader in 14 years

    Louisiana Republicans elect first new leader in 14 years

    Saturday, February 24 2018 3:23 PM EST2018-02-24 20:23:12 GMT
    Louis Gurvich (Source: louisgervich.com)Louis Gurvich (Source: louisgervich.com)

    Louisiana Republicans have chosen their new chairman, a New Orleans businessman who will lead the party as it readies for a heated effort aimed at unseating Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2019.

    More >>

    Louisiana Republicans have chosen their new chairman, a New Orleans businessman who will lead the party as it readies for a heated effort aimed at unseating Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2019.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly