Please reply to the below discussion in 2 paragraphs. In the first, clearly state with which parts of the other student’s thread you agree or disagree. You must provide an explanation for why you agree or disagree with the other student’s thread. In the second, add some additional comments of your own that add to the discussion. the reply must be at least 250 words.
Question 4 Ethical questions: Story of Jill on escaping use tax liability.
In this story, Jill decided to delete her online purchase information she had previously entered on her personal tax return. Before determining what she did is ethical or not, I would like to explore the definition of use tax as well as its purpose and impact.
A use tax is a sale tax that is levied on purchases made in one state but are used or stored in another state. (Spilker, et al., 2021). For instance, a customer of Virginia buys a food processor through an online retail store in Colorado. If the seller of Colorado does not collect sales tax from the customer of Virginia, the customer must pay the sales tax, which is referred to as use tax. You might wonder why the seller would not collect sale tax for the buyer, just as all sellers do in our local stores, so the buyer would not have to worry about paying use taxes. The company selling its products to a different state (other than its own state) collects a sales tax for the buyer where the buyer lives only when it is in jurisdictions where it has “substantial nexus to the state” (Allen, 2013). Nexus is the sufficient connection between a business and a state that allows a state to levy a tax on the business (Spilker, et. al., p.23-6). To simplify this nexus connection, one simply keeps in mind that for online sellers, as long as they have more than $100,000 in sales or over 200 sales transactions during the taxable year, it has the responsibility to collect the sales tax, because of their economic presence (Spilker, et al., 2021).
Now let us turn our attention to the consumer part of paying use taxes. Sales taxes apply to purchase made within a state and do not reach to goods that are purchased out of states. Therefore, use tax is created to prevent encouraging consumers from purchasing goods remotely in order to avoid paying sales taxes (Allen, 2013). Forty five states and the District of Columbia impose sales taxes except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Since Jill lives in Virginia, she must pay her due to the state government.
The tax authorities would not have thought of running into such a problem of collecting use tax until the growing prevalence of online sales came along. The following statistics indicates that state governments have been losing money from sale taxes in the past: only1.6% of taxpayers reported owing any use taxes in 2009; state and local governments in 2012 expected to lose approximately $11.4 billion in revenue due to the noncompliance for online purchases (Allen, 2013). By encouraging individuals to report their use taxes, numerous states have added lines to individuals tax return forms where taxpayers can report their online purchases (Anderson, 2015).
In the story of Jill, $75 may not seem a substantial amount, however, we can imagine, every day people make purchases on the internet and the accumulated use taxes will become a substantial amount of money, which could be used to fund education, roads repair, public facilities improvement, and many more. It is not hard to find verses on authority obedience and honest work throughout the Bible. As Paul instructs his young disciple, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work (Titus 3:1, KJV),” reporting a
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