Sunday, February 04, 2007

$10,426 Tax Bill For Smoker Who Bought Cigs Over Internet "
Obnoxious taxes, nanny statists, and Big Brother -- Woo hoo! this article has them all:

BRICK, N.J. -- New Jersey residents who buy their cigarettes over the Internet are experiencing a big reason to quit: huge sales tax bills.

The state is cracking down on residents who buy their smokes online in order to avoid state sales tax, a development that has caught many Garden State smokers by surprise.

Brick resident Craig Mathews, 57, quit smoking last April, but not before racking up a $10,426.11 sales tax bill for buying cigarettes over the Web for years.

Another Brick resident, Tim Nolan, 52, received a sales tax bill from the state for $4,115.28 for the Pall Mall cigarettes he purchased online from July 2003 to March 2005.

Both men said they bought the cigarettes over the Internet in order to save money and didn't know that they had to pay sales tax to the state of New Jersey.

'We should have gotten a warning,' Nolan told the Asbury Park Press for Sunday's newspapers. 'We were ignorant of the law.'

A professor at Rutgers School of Law, Mark Weiner, said under a federal law called the Jenkins Act, tobacco companies who sell their products to out-of-state consumers must report sales information to the state where the consumer lives.

According to Tom Vincz, a spokesman for the state Treasury Department, the state collects about $4 million a year from sales tax on out-of-state cigarettes.

Vincz said sometimes cigarette sellers will voluntarily offer the information to states, but often the states must demand it from the Internet sites.

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