Congress Is Raising Your Taxes Online, But Who Cares?

online shoppingThere are so many things I love about shopping online: It's convenient, it's easier to comparison shop, there's no loud club music, and I can do it when I have time (11:30 p.m.), and it's just a wee bit cheaper because there's usually no sales tax. Guess which advantage we're about to lose? That's right -- we might have to start paying sales tax. That could bump online purchases up by 5 percent.

Congress is considering a new bill that would allow states to force major online retailers like Amazon and eBay to charge sales tax. And it even has Republican support. So how much is this going to cost us?


Okay, say you finally break down and buy a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey because it's in paperback and -- oh lookey, it's on sale for $9.57. If you got charged sales tax, that would raise the price by $0.47 for a grand total of $10.04. Hmm, that's not so bad.

Or say you want to buy a crib, like this one for $199. Sales tax for that could add $9.94 for a total of $208.94

Okay. You know what? I keep waiting to feel outraged but it's just not happening. The numbers aren't big enough. And pricing online seems kind of slippery anyway. Can't you see Amazon "lowering" prices by 5 percent to induce us to keep shopping? I just don't think in real terms this is going to hurt all that much.

And it's probably not enough to keep most of us from still shopping online. I don't think this 5 percent is going to kill online shopping. Oh sure, I'd love it if Congress would tax the rich instead of ME. But this is not the end of the world. It's not even the 9-point-something sales tax I pay at the shops in my neighborhood.

Would the 5 percent sales tax keep you from shopping online?


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