There I was, strolling through the streets of Monte Carlo when I stumbled upon this spectacular art gallery. As I walked in, I immediately saw an original Marc Chagall oil on canvas. I had to have it!
Sorry….I got my facts mixed up for a second. I was actually strolling down Main Street, U.S.A in Walt Disney World when I popped into a gift shop. I immediately saw a small light box with Cinderella’s castle inside and I had to have it!
When I went to pay for the light box, I asked if I could have it shipped back to my home. (I trust the UPS drivers way more than the airport baggage handlers!)
The cashier asked where I was sending it. When I told her that I lived in Virginia, she lit up with joy and said, “You’re not going to have to pay sales tax now!”
I was on vacation, but the tax nerd inside of me leaped out of his lounge chair, threw his pina colada on the ground, and got into a sales tax consulting stance.
I thought to myself, “Should I tell her about the use tax I’ll have to pay to Virginia? Should I spread the word so she can educate other guests who are in this predicament?”
Do you want to know what I said to her? I’ll tell you, but you’ll have to buy me a pina colada first!
Artwork is a common purchase that the states track for use tax purposes. When it comes to high dollar pieces, the states have become very aggressive in sending use tax bills to the purchasers.
Just because you’re not buying a super-expensive piece of artwork doesn’t mean that you’re out of the states’ crosshairs. The states are getting more sophisticated when it comes to enforcing use tax laws on individual taxpayers, so be sure to pay your fair share before they come after you first.
(P.S. – If you happen to be a Disney fan like me, stop by my other blog (DisneyMBA.com) and join in on the conversation there!)