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Cyber Monday not so good for Florida shoppers
Today is "Cyber Monday".
It's a day where retailers push their online deals to holiday shoppers.
Every where you click....there's a deal.
The online discounts apply to all types of items, from appliances to clothes and electronics.
Amazon, Target and Walmart are now promoting "Cyber Week" and extending web-only deals through next weekend.
Cyber Monday may be good for shoppers, but not for Florida.
Any business that has a location in Florida collects sales tax through an online purchase.
Holiday dcor is hung at brick and mortar stores. The holiday shopping season is in high gear.
RM: "Thanksgiving time and Christmas time a lot of folks come to Florida and while they're here they buy things." Holiday shopping is expected to by up four percent this year. On line purchases are skyrocketingup fifteen percent.
JF "Holiday sales in Florida are expected to be for the months of November and December 60 billion dollars."
Although the deals are good for customersit is bad for the State Treasury. Few if any online shoppers are paying state sales taxes.
JF: "If that retailer doesn't have a presence in the state of Florida they don't have the same requirements to collect sales tax."
In Florida - if you buy something online and the merchant doesn't have brick and mortar building in the state - you don't have to pay the sales tax you owe when you checkout.
And the failure to collect is costing the State Treasury up to a billion dollars a year.
JF: "If you're buying from somebody like Amazon for example that does not yet have a facility in the state of Florida. Amazon is not going to add that sales tax on."
It's a state and Federal problem. . Three bills in Washington, DC would change sales tax laws across the country to include sales made online. Here in Florida - consumers are still required to fill out sales tax forms if they aren't charged.
JF: "Go to Department of Revenue and look for the form DR-15 that's what you're supposed to be filling yourself."
Only an estimated 4 thousand forms paying online taxes voluntarily are filed each year.
Early Black Friday estimates show there were more shoppers out in Florida - but sales remained relatively flat.
If you plan to online shop here are some safety tips...
Make sure you use a secure connection and don't click on pop-up ads.
Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and use strong passwords.
Shop at companies you know and check your statements frequently...
And finally, have your gifts delivered to a secure location.
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