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Potential Tax on Internet Purchases

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caribstx
(@caribstx)
Trusted Member

If the nearly insolvent GVI implements a tax on internet purchases as was reported in The Avis this morning, what strategies and methods can we use to avoid it?

For example, should we obtain credit cards from stateside banks (I already have two) and use stateside PO boxes/mail forwarders as our home address?

As citizens, we need to be proactive on this issue and devise a means to protect ourselves.

Any thoughts?

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Topic starter Posted : February 13, 2015 10:49 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

you would have to make sure your items ship to a state address that does not collect tax but there are options on line. i have seen them here before. you pay a company for the right to have a stateside address. they can ship non shippable items to you via their service. i can not remember the names of those services

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Posted : February 13, 2015 11:48 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

The VI Government will be exploring many new and creative ways to wring more money out of Virgin Islanders to make up the shortfall of their excessive and wasteful spending. Get ready.

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Posted : February 13, 2015 11:54 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

The VI is pretty bad at collecting taxes as it is, so this may just be a tax for people who volunteer to pay it.

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Posted : February 13, 2015 6:34 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

You have to wonder about all those 'valentine' vendors on the roadsides selling stuffed bunnies. But I'm sure they all have licenses and pay taxes - Yea Right!

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Posted : February 13, 2015 6:54 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

of course they do, why would you doubt otherwise?

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Posted : February 13, 2015 6:57 pm
StCroixBeachBoy
(@StCroixBeachBoy)
Advanced Member

You have to wonder about all those 'valentine' vendors on the roadsides selling stuffed bunnies. But I'm sure they all have licenses and pay taxes - Yea Right!

Yeah. That. Not to mention the unreported income.

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Posted : February 14, 2015 4:10 pm
soccerrprp
(@soccerrprp)
Advanced Member

Unfortunately this is becoming a more attractive revenue building option for states. Some already collect taxes from internet purchases and it is done automatically on many vendor sites.

Ugh.

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Posted : February 16, 2015 2:33 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

But the law allows the vendors to collect SALES taxes that are imposed by a state and forward them.

Since we have no sales tax (a direct sales tax, written into law as a sales tax) a vendor could easily push back on a request by the GVI.

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Posted : February 16, 2015 2:44 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

And on another note, the

Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013

only applies to STATES.

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Posted : February 16, 2015 2:49 pm
klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

In San Diego we have a TON of those same roadside vendors as well! LOL!

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Posted : February 16, 2015 4:05 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Here's an excerpt from an article in today's STT Source:

"We have a projected cash-flow shortfall of approximately $140 million in Fiscal Year 2015," Collens said. The previous administration had projected a $97 million shortfall, but that included $57 million of new revenue generation from legislation "that is not presently enacted," Collens said.

It also does not include $40 million from a settlement for environmental damage on St. Croix's south shore, he said.
Because the government is near its debt ceiling, if the government tries to go to the bond market again, it will not be well received, he said.

The government has seen some improvement in its position as a result of executive branch action to curtail hiring and cut travel, rental and cell phone expenses, as well as reduced fuel and utility costs from decreasing oil prices, Collens said. "However, the aforementioned initiatives alone cannot address the projected cash flow shortfall of $140 million. ... The government of the Virgin Islands will need to enact revenue generating measures," he said.

Collens listed several potential measures, including a graduated income tax surcharge of 10 percent, a vehicle mileage tax, realization of customs duties, enactment of a sales tax on Internet transactions and changing the health insurance premium cost sharing ratio.

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2015/02/17/senate-digs-pension-budget-crises

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Posted : February 18, 2015 8:05 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 only applies to STATES. A retailer is not obligated by any Federal law to collect a sales tax (which we do not have) and send it to a Territory.

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Posted : February 18, 2015 9:31 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Maybe the senators and Mr. Collins need to be educated to that fact.
However, they'll just come up with some new tax or rate hike to enact.

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Posted : February 18, 2015 10:38 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

I wonder what he means by 'realization of customs duty'?

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Posted : February 18, 2015 10:55 am
Kokonut
(@Kokonut)
Advanced Member

Some of these measures will be very easy to defeat:

Income Tax Surcharge: Business owners will simply shift from income to dividends.

Vehicle Mileage Tax: Replacing and rolling back odometers is big business on the mainland and a good opportunity for our enterprising youth.

Internet Sales Tax: Just need a credit card from a mainland bank, many in the VI have this already.

We have to stay one step ahead of these GVI fools.

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Posted : February 18, 2015 11:18 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

Vehicle Mileage Tax: Replacing and rolling back odometers is big business on the mainland and a good opportunity for our enterprising youth.

We have to stay one step ahead of these GVI fools.

On my Honda (car), I can just pull a plug to disable the odometer. I discovered this by accident when the odometer stopped working and I discovered that the repair shop did not plug it back in.

My motorcycle is 36 years old and does not have an odometer - and the law does not require me to have one.

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Posted : February 18, 2015 11:25 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

I disconnected the odometer on my 2003 Honda Accord years ago when it was still leased because I knew I would go way over the mileage limit on the lease. I eventually bought it because it was a good car but I guess I just never bothered to plug it back in. But it was also very easy to find a garage or tow truck driver who would happily swap out the odometer.

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Posted : February 18, 2015 11:36 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

As long as you're honest with a buyer of your car when you go to sell it. Hearing about being able to unplug an odometer to either cheat the government or for whatever reason, doesn't sit well with me.

If you're keeping your car until it's hauled to the dump, that's one thing. Anything else is less than ethical.

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Posted : February 18, 2015 12:13 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

Hearing about being able to unplug an odometer to either cheat the government or for whatever reason, doesn't sit well with me.

Sorry, but the GVI cheats me constantly. I have no problem paying my fair share of taxes, but to increase my taxes to pay for incompetency and mismanagement without accountability is wrong.

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Posted : February 18, 2015 12:29 pm
Novanut
(@novanut)
Trusted Member

Maybe the GVI could start buying powerball tickets en mass...

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Posted : February 18, 2015 12:52 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

... I have no problem paying my fair share of taxes, but to increase my taxes to pay for incompetency and mismanagement without accountability is wrong.

+1

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Posted : February 18, 2015 1:30 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

INTERESTING To note that the majority of new ideas for revenue are immediately shot down by the majority of posters.

what was the projected shortfall? 100+million for the year.

pot legalization would be a big help but will that pass here?

what else would you all suggest in order to bring in revenue for the territory?

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Posted : February 18, 2015 2:51 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

I wonder what he means by 'realization of customs duty'?

It probably means to enforce and collect based on existing customs duty laws. They could "realize" many other existing taxes without adding new ones, and thereby collect plenty of extra revenue.

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Posted : February 18, 2015 2:58 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

INTERESTING To note that the majority of new ideas for revenue are immediately shot down by the majority of posters.

what was the projected shortfall? 100+million for the year.

pot legalization would be a big help but will that pass here?

what else would you all suggest in order to bring in revenue for the territory?

Cut expenses. Seriously, not nickel and dime stuff.

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 18, 2015 3:16 pm
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