SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Did you buy gifts on eBay or Craiglist this holiday season? You could be in for a surprise. There’s a hidden tax to online shopping.

There is good chance it’s a tax you’ve not heard much about. But it’s really quite simple, says Anita Gore with the State Board of Equalization.

“Use Tax is what you owe if you buy something from out of state and don’t pay sales tax on it,” said Gore.

Authors of this tax on the books since 1935 never considered the Internet, but with online shopping and purchases made across state lines, it’s more relevant than ever.

“Because if you, from across the border, can charge a lesser price because you don’t collect the sales tax, then you would encourage consumers to come to you while California businesses would then suffer,” said Gore.

Businesses that have brick and mortar stores in California, and also an online presence, already charge sales tax. Businesses that deal online are expected to register with the Board of Equalization.

Payment for the most part is on the honor system, but California loses $1 billion a year from consumers and businesses that didn’t know, or just didn’t pay.

“If you have your receipts you add up how much you spent, you apply the appropriate sales tax put it in that line, make the payment at the time you pay your income tax,” said Gore.

The best way to know whether a purchase is subject to the use tax is to check your receipt. If you see a sales tax levied for California, you’re safe, but keep your receipt as proof.

Comments (12)
  1. Dave says:

    It’s called “Shopping Around”, you twitt.

  2. coachmachado says:

    This defeats the whole idea of a competitive market!

  3. Joe says:

    Yeah, right…I’m mailing my check right now.

  4. Captain America says:

    LOL! They can’t be serious? It’s just more excuses for already burn out budget + I’ve haven’t had a refund in years, so bite me.

  5. Tomaso says:

    I need to leave this state before they come up with an “EXIT” tax.

  6. PatH for freedom says:

    Well, the colonists considered this abusive behavior worth a bloody revolution over stamps tax, similar for that time. People like Anita Gore who seem to agree with relentless tyranny who split hairs to extract more money from people who have already lost their homes are examples of the heartless SOB’s that cannibalize helpless victims who have no power to fight back.

  7. PatH for freedom says:

    Yet Anita Gore promoting the crime of theft based upon a 1930 law, is “their little secret” of methods of extortion.

  8. PatH for freedom says:

    This behavior is similar to elements used by child molesters take advantage of their victims who cannot fight back! Private citizens can view these villains who come up with these “ad hoc” non democratic decrees that Tyrant Kings, and dictators had the power to do because a violent military backs their play.

  9. PatH for freedom says:

    I guarantee you that California is no different! Richard I. Fine was jailed in Los Angeles for successfully suing Judges who were stealing 40 thousand dollars per year each in violation of State Constitution.

  10. PatH for freedom says:

    One of the Judges retaliated and without due process put him in Jail “indefinitely” on a smoke and mirror contempt charge that had no basis. The Judge was allowed to step, but Fine was freed, not on rule of law, but personal decree of tyrants who do not have to obey the law. See Stump v. Sparkman U.S. Supreme Court, “judges cannot be held liable for corrupt acts.”

  11. PatH for freedom says:

    Oh! In closing! Happy New year now RUUUUUNNNNNN, because U.S. citizens only fight other countries so they can be like us!

  12. E says:

    Reminds me of the Beatles song “Tax Man” if you sit down I’ll tax your seat. I want to move the bleep away from Cali. Everything here, including gas is too damn expensive. The fat cats spend all the taxpayers money then turn around and make us pay the price…………A***h##les!

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