Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)
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  1. #1
    Member SMP89's Avatar
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    Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    Hello Watchuseek,

    Question for you but first a bit of a backstory.

    For those of us that live near state borders, the allure of seeing our watch in person and purchasing out of state then having our beloved watch shipped across state lines helps to eliminate taxes.

    The "deals" offered by ADs usually start off with "Where do you live?" "Do you live in ______, if not, I can ship the watch to save some $" etc....

    I visited a respected AD (not going to mention their name) and I was told that starting July 1, 2019, taxes will still need to paid whether the watch is purchased out of state and shipped or sold in stores (obviously).

    Has anyone else come across this new information? The AD was willing to discount/ haggle a bit on price, but dropping tax can save me a few thousand.

    Local area this applies to is around VA, DC, MD.

    Just curious if anyone else fell on this information and if it holds any water.

    -SMP

  2. #2
    Member ExpiredWatchdog's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    Thanks to a SCOTUS ruling last summer, they removed a shield that stopped states from charging out-of-state tax. Note that I didn't say they made it legal, I just said they removed a shield that companies have used to thumb their noses at states that have attempted to charge out-of-state tax. So, some companies have followed their lawyer's advice and instituted out-of-state collection and others have not.

    The only way they are truly obligated to collect it is 1) the state has a law authorizing it and 2) the state sues them over it. The lawyers are saying "just collect it and avoid the suit".

    My advice is to shop around. It's not something cast in stone (yet). I have dealt with many vendors since the ruling that haven't charged me tax.
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  3. #3
    Member Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    That's happening everywhere now. State by state, company by company.

    Amazon recently started collecting local sales tax here and is handing it over to the city. For a fee of course...

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  5. #4
    Member SMP89's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    Quote Originally Posted by ExpiredWatchdog View Post
    Thanks to a SCOTUS ruling last summer, they removed a shield that stopped states from charging out-of-state tax. Note that I didn't say they made it legal, I just said they removed a shield that companies have used to thumb their noses at states that have attempted to charge out-of-state tax. So, some companies have followed their lawyer's advice and instituted out-of-state collection and others have not.

    The only way they are truly obligated to collect it is 1) the state has a law authorizing it and 2) the state sues them over it. The lawyers are saying "just collect it and avoid the suit".

    My advice is to shop around. It's not something cast in stone (yet). I have dealt with many vendors since the ruling that haven't charged me tax.


    Interesting, and thanks for the background and advice.
    That gives me a place to start in terms of research on the matter.

    Thank you Watchdog..

  6. #5
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    Re: Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    Legally in most states you are required to pay taxes whether the watch was purchased and shipped or came with you across the border. Not sure of the situation where you live but in most areas there is a self reporting requirement. Whether that actually happens is another story altogether. I do know that many states are are looking to catch up with internet sellers in regards to sales taxes owed, Ebay is a recent example of an online retailer that has been required to start collecting and remitting taxes for some states.
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  7. #6
    Member ExpiredWatchdog's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    The ruling overturned Quill v. North Dakota. In the original ruling, SCOTUS stated that they wanted to leave it up to congress to provide some kind of guidance/level field regarding cross state taxes, but in the intervening 26 years, nothing. Even in this ruling, the dissenting opinion noted the burden placed on internet businesses navigating byzantine tax laws across every jurisdiction in the US. I suspect this ruling is a barb in the side of congress to get off their butts and straighten it out.

    Oh, and that 1 guy is absolutely correct, most states have a self reporting requirement but no way to enforce it.

    My wife has a business that has to report sales taxes. The form asks for the value of purchases you made with your tax exemption and then converted to personal use. Slightly different than consumer self reporting but I imagine ignored with as much gusto.

    We go to shows where you have to have a tax license to get in and none of the vendors charge sales taxes. It's just assumed that you are buying wholesale.
    Last edited by ExpiredWatchdog; June 19th, 2019 at 04:28.
    Hack a wife's watch, keep her happy for a week, teach her to hack her own watch, keep her happy for life!
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    What's the positional variation on a pendulum clock?
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  8. #7
    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    Yes--now, as noted above, you will have to pay the state taxes on ebay purchases, based on where the seller resides. While of course no one wants to pay more for a purchase than necessary, taxes are taxes, and really, not paying them in the past was more a loophole than anything--this of course has an impact on all online transactions.

  9. #8
    Member Jhchr2's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    I live in Washington state and they had a rule that even if you purchase out of state you need to file and pay the sales tax on your own. No one did this, but with the new law pretty much all online sellers collect sales tax here. It may vary state to state, but I believe if you don’t do a large amount of transactions in a particular state you don’t have to worry about collecting the sales tax. You may be able to find a smaller retailer that doesn’t charge sales tax for your state, but it’s getting harder.


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  10. #9
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    Re: Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    Not sure how they would handle taxes for in store purchases (are they asking for proof of residency on every sale now?), but what the AD told you about remote sales (by phone or internet and shipped) is correct.

    I'd also point out that in most states with sales tax that I'm familiar with, if you bought a product out of state and brought it home with out, you are/were supposed to report that on your annual income taxes and pay the applicable tax on it. The applicable section on the income tax paperwork is typically called "sales and use tax". Of course, practically no one ever did that. Hence this most recent legislation that puts more onus on the retailers to report it.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Purchasing a watch out of state (Taxes/Shipping)

    In-store, I don't think they can charge, but online, yeah.

    I live near Delaware, so guess where I bought my Black Bay and my Submariner? Yup.
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