MONTPELIER – The State of Vermont is doubling down on its aggressive new tax policies. After sending a letter this week to 20,000 Vermonters informing them of their obligation to pay sales tax on online purchases from retailers like Amazon.com, the state has confirmed that a second batch of letters has been sent, this time to school children.
“We understand that it can be a bit awkward, talking to your children about money in this way,” says Vermont tax commissioner Kaj Samsom, “but what most parents don’t realize is that any financial transaction has to be reported to the state. When your kids are young, this is the best time to teach them about the importance and joy of paying taxes. Have they received money from their parents? The state is owed 6% of that, and we will be looking back as far as seven years to make sure that what is owed is paid.”
The 40,000 children who will be receiving letters over the next few days make up about half of the state’s school-aged children, and there has been no indication as to how those specific children were selected. Samsom maintains that all Vermont children are required to pay tax on their allowances, and that the letter is not meant to single out any one group of children over another. “We’re going to get that 6% from all of them, you can be sure of that,” Samsom told reporters. “This letter is informative, not punitive. There’s no need for them to take any action right away, other than to be sure to have their allowance documentation in order for when we show up unexpectedly at their homes.”
Samsom had no comment on the rumored “pet tax” that would require Vermonters to send 10% of whatever their pets bring home directly to Vermont Department of Taxes, although many residents seemed in favor of that idea and planned to begin immediately, just to be safe.