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NH vs. MA over sales tax.

Posted by salestax on February 4, 2009

I read about this when the initial decision was made. I’m glad that the taxpayer isn’t standing idly by and letting MA push the boundaries of the US Constitution.

If they have the right lawyers and consultants, MA shouldn’t stand a chance.

The MA Use Tax law is there for the residents to be compliant once they bring their car with new tires back into MA. If they don’t enforce it, why should the NH business pay?


So, here is another article pretty much stating the same thing as yesterday.  However,  something struck me, and really infuriated me to have to add to this post:  MA “officials admit the [use] taxes are rarely paid and the law is virtually unenforceable.” 

Excuse me?  Unenforceable?  While it might not be prudent to go after every taxpayer that buys something out of state (NH in particular) how hard would it be to set up a special audit team who audits the NH vendor, who is registered in MA.  Get their sales to MA and then cross reference those customer name and addresses with filed income tax returns at the end of the year.  If no use tax was claimed on the tax return, but they were on the list of MA residents to purchase in NH, they can send a letter to the MA resident stating that they know a purchase was made on such-&-such a date for X amount of dollars and that X amount of tax is due.  Simple.  I would bet that a good number of the MA residents would comply and remit the amount due rather than risk an audit of all of thier purchases over a 3-year time period.  They would be scared into doing so.  Plus, as word got out about this practice, more and more residents would remit something on their income tax return each year.

So, come on Massachusetts… start enforcing – or at least trying – instead of tearing apart the US Constitution.

——————–and more… looks like this case has some attention in the public eye.. not just the crazy sales tax people out there.  A good interesting point by the tax law professors in the last sentence.


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