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Mar 11, 2014
The issue of "use tax" in the United States

Nearly half of American taxpayers don’t realize they are responsible for sales tax on “no tax” online purchases; almost three-quarters don’t know how to pay it

Survey of 1854 also reveals 78% of Americans believe the IRS and state governments should not have visibility into online purchases or credit card statements


WILTON, Conn., March 11, 2014 – Toluna QuickSurveys today announced the results of a survey on the issue of "use tax," sales tax that is owed for out-of-state purchases when tax is not charged. The survey revealed 45% of Americans don't realize they are responsible for sales tax on "no tax" purchases online. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans don't even know how to declare or pay use tax, and the majority of Americans (62%) won't declare use tax at all. The survey was conducted this month with 1854 American respondents over the age of 18.


Other findings include:

  • 16% of Americans will declare less use tax than they rightfully owe.
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of Americans aren't worried that not disclosing and paying use tax will trigger a tax audit.
  • 59% of Americans are not sure how much they actually owe in use tax.
  • 74% of Americans are likely to buy more online if there is no tax.

"With online consumer spending expected to increase 62% by 2016[1] and make up 10% of all American retail sales by 2017[2], it's no surprise that state tax agencies are lobbying to force retailers to collect tax," said veteran tax expert, Dave Du Val, Vice President of Customer Advocacy at "There has been speculation for some time that state governments might one day have insight into consumers' online purchases and credit card statements which might not sit too well with lots of Americans."


The survey revealed 74% of Americans don't believe the IRS and state tax agencies should have that kind of visibility.

For more information on the Toluna QuickSurveys Use Tax survey, please contact



About Toluna QuickSurveys
Toluna QuickSurveys takes the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of DIY survey-tools and adds speed and reliability by providing direct access to a global panel of over six million people available to respond to surveys. No other survey tool in the market can match the speed, reliability and cost-effectiveness.


About this survey
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Toluna surveys using SmartSelect, an automated, state-of-the art matching methodology for selecting a representative sample of the U.S. adult population.




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