questionspa sales tax: clothes are exempt right?


I'm guessing any and all t-shirts count as clothing normally used when engaged in sports.
The fur portion (natural OR synthetic) of that law that you link to is so effing ridiculous I'm surprised they decided to complicate things so much... some of the legislators must have been paid off by competing material manufacturers.


Interesting --> NT – T-shirts, imprinted

You're right about t-shirts being non-taxable.


Answered you in your other thread on shirt.woot:

Basically, I'm checking.


Amazon says:

"Items sold by Amazon .com LLC, or its subsidiaries, and shipped to destinations in the following states are subject to tax:

New York
North Dakota

No sales tax is charged when purchasing gift cards; however, purchases paid for with gift cards may be subject to tax."

Which sounds to me like they are charging tax on everything they sell to those customers because its simpler than trying to figure out what is and isn't taxable in each state.


I am HOT!! Way beyond POed!! I am FUMING! I just canceled my order for the batteies. Amazon and Woot have no idea how much business they just lost!

To answer your question - as you already know - yes, you are correct. There is NO TAX on clothing in PA. There is NO TAX on ANY "necessity" in PA (although what the state considers a "necessity" doesn't always have rhyme or reason). For example - candy is not taxed because it is a food, but gum is. Regardless, NO shirts on shirts woot should EVER be taxed for PA residents. PA is good at collecting tax, but if you pay tax on something you shouldn't - don't think for a second they will give it back. Nope, tax shouldn't be charged on clothing in the first place.

You have no idea how much shopping I do (used to do) on Amazon and Woot. We are talking FIVE
DIGITS last year. That translates into WELL over $600 dollars in tax I WON'T be saving be shopping here anymore. I had NO idea this was coming and don't even know what caused the change...


@michaels1715: " I had NO idea this was coming and don't even know what caused the change..."

State legislatures want their tax revenues. You can write your legislature, but good luck with that. Some states have even added a line to their state income tax forms to calculate how much you should pay for internet, mail, or out of state purchases.
Whether an item should be charged tax or not is just another problem for internet and mail-order retailers to figure out. It's not going to go away but may take a bit to work it all out.


@michaels1715: It's only a matter of time before every purchase on the Internet is taxed. Don't get used to the idea of not paying taxes for online purchases.


@michaels1715: It wasn't Amazon. Amazon was forced to reverse it's policy of not charging sales tax to PA because of a PA state directive. So they'd be breaking PA law if they didn't start charging tax.

Seriously, we live in the US. You pay sales tax. It's a luxury when you don't, really ridiculous to get so heated over it. BTW, join the club and be thankful. I pay 9.5% sales tax on Amazon and Woot since I moved to Washington last year.

"I had NO idea this was coming and don't even know what caused the change..." It has been an issue in the news for years, that being Amazon's battles with state legislatures to not charge sales tax. Also, you could have googled it, because the PA news is all over the internet right now. When a business has a presence in a state, you need to pay sales tax. Amazon has successfully made deals and lobbied against it for a long time, but now they are starting to lose those battles.


@meh3884: @hackman2007: I think you two are missing the point. He isn't annoyed about sales tax in general, he's mad about paying it on products that are on the books as being tax-free.


@panthiest: michaels1715 mentioned several things in their post. The poster mentioned they canceled their order from Woot for batteries which is not related to clothing. Later the poster mentions that clothing shouldn't be taxed and finally mentioned they will not be shopping on Woot or Amazon at all. Unless I'm missing something, this goes a lot deeper than purchases that shouldn't be taxed if they plan to quit shopping at both for all purchases.


@panthiest: Sure, but again - that's Pennsylvania's directive, not Amazon's. Saying he's not going to shop at Amazon at all anymore because Amazon is being forced to follow a PA state law that includes tax on clothing is quite misguided. How much of that "5 figure" in sales were shirts from shirt.woot? Amazon has been vicious in this fight; if there was a way to get out of charging sales tax on some items they would have found it. Or maybe they're working on it now.

Regardless, this is neither out of the blue nor surprising. It's been in the works for a long time and is going to happen more as Amazon opens more warehouses across the country in more states.


@meh3884: once again, though, that was not his original point. It seems t-shirts should not be taxed at all in Pennsylvania. It looks like maybe woot! is charging it in error.


@Meh3884 @Hackman2007 @Pantheist @kamikazeken

Okay, first of all, I apologize. I was taken by surprise and was having an upsetting morning already about something else, so I over-reacted. It is not Amazon's or Woot's fault whatsoever - I'm sorry I implied it was. This is totally the fault of the bass ackwards state of PA. Woot, please accept my apologies for yelling & ranting at you - I wasn't being myself. I appreciate all that you guys did to try to prevent this. 

As far as whoever said something like "we live in America, we pay tax" (I'm on my phone - too much effort to re-read comments), or something like that. Well, that may be true for where you live, and also where I live now, but 2 states I've lived in/still have relatives in/travel to frequently, do NOT charge ANY sales tax - New Hampshire & Delaware.  

I don'tt pay much attention to news, but I have heard talk of tax changes for online shopping - I didn't realize it was going to affect me drastically, starting today.



Cont. from previous post:
I think a couple of you mixed me up with the OP. I am not
THE OP, I was just answering the OP & ranting at the same time. No, PA does not charge sales tax on clothes, and yes, shirt.woot is charging tax incorrectly. Shirt woot is not what I was complaining about. How much of my 5 figures were spent on shirt.woot? Less than 3 figures. That's the least of my problems, as I mostly buy "non-necessities". Again, I only mentioned clothing because I was answering the original question. 

Everyone makes mistakes. Some people admit them, some do not. I am one who admits my mistakes (usually). I was completely, 100% wrong to rant at Amazon and Woot. Instead I should've been thanking them for all the effort they've put into this issue with the states and especially PA. So again, I apologize - I am truly sorry.  I will need to go apologize on shirt.woot as well.  

Cont... (last time, sorry)


Oh, and by the way, one of you was very careful not to call me he or she, but another one of you called me "he", although I think he/she had me mixed up with the OP. I usually sign my name when I post under this ID, but didn't even bother to this morning. The majority of people who see "michaels1715" assume my first name is Michael, but they are wrong (please note the "s" after michael) - my name is not "Michael", nor am I a male :D 

I hope everyone has a safe and happy labor day weekend.



@michaels1715: Off topic, I have to admit that your rant made me smile. I immediately thought of my late father-in-law who would start or end many stories with "I was HOT!!" He's the only one I've known who used that phrase, so I had an instant picture of him in full indignation. I wonder if it is a regional thing? He was from Maine originally, but lived in Connecticut most of his life.


@michaels1715: Sorry for calling you a he - I actually wasn't trying to imply gender, just going with the standard without doing an awkward s/he or grammatically incorrect 'they' :) Also, I totally understand getting heated over this, I was pissed when I had to start paying, too.

Anyways, on the taxing thing - even if your state does not collect sales tax, they collect taxes in other ways - through property, school, income tax, etc. Some way or another, we pay. Any time we don't it is a luxury, that was my point there.

Lastly, what I was ultimately getting at is that it still might not be woot erroneously collecting tax. It is possible that PA is forcing Amazon to charge an all encompassing ecommerce tax on all purchases that is not the same as your typical in-state purchase tax, which exempts clothing. One reason would be to make you more likely to purchase in state. Taxes are only one reason why local economies don't like Amazon or other mega online retailers :)


Well this turned into so much fun, I probably shouldn't mention use tax ; )


@michaels1715: You could move to Germany and pay 19% tax on everything that's not food. Food's only like 7.5% or something like that. I love it when other Americans complain about how many taxes they have to pay and take umbrage that someone had the gall to charge them sales tax. Just remember: it could always be worse. Or you could always look at it as a small fee for the privilege of living in a freaking amazing country. That's what I do.


@zuiquan: The rates of VAT (Value Added Tax) are way higher in Europe generally, but there's one noticeable difference in the shopping experience - the price displayed includes the tax, so if the sticker says EUR19.99, you get change from 20 Euro. It makes it easier to stick to your budget :-)


@ripwave: I'll give you that it's already factored into the cost of whatever you're buying but it's still a hidden tax. Whether a person acknowledges it or not is up to them. Sure, I can go out and buy a Google Nexus 7 for 249 euro and there's no "extra" tax involved. So that Nexus 7 actually costs me $313 and some odd cents. Part of that extra cost is the exchange rate but most of that is the VAT. Take the VAT out of the equation and a Nexus 7 costs me roughly 253 dollars after conversion. So yeah, it's already factored in but 20 percent is still 20 percent.


Hi there. Heard back and we are making corrections to our calculations for PA for shirts. You should expect a redund on that tax before long. Sorry for the inconvenience.


good to know. Thanks for the update @thunderthighs.