Paying Taxes on My Amazon Purchases and Clearing My Conscience

Amazon cat
I live in Chicago, Illinois, and for all the years that I’ve been shopping online Amazon has never charged state sales tax on purchases. Apparently, it is supposed to be self-reported during the filing of taxes, but I never remember seeing a line for it when I filed state taxes online through the state portal.

This year, TurboTax offered me free filing of both my federal and state taxes. I did not have to file in two places to save money, but I also could not avoid the direct question asked by TurboTax, “Did you make any online purchases in 2014?” I was reasonably certain that I could have answered “no” and been in zero trouble and never be audited. Still, I couldn’t lie.

I answered, “yes,” opened a new tab and logged into my account with Amazon to tally my purchases. I purchased $181.28 worth of items (mostly gifts and the occasional book). At the current 6.25% tax rate I owed $11, which was subtracted from my $125 refund.

Eleven dollars seems an amount worth paying for a guilt-free conscience.


Amanda works in banking and loves Ansel Elgort, Friday Night Lights and dessert for breakfast.

Photo: Stephen Woods



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