Addition To Holiday Shopping List: File Consumer Use Tax Online and Pay Via Credit Card

Sunday, December 17, 2006 | 06:00pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In the nick of time for holiday shopping, the Tennessee Department of Revenue now accepts credit cards for payment of consumer use tax. Consumers can take advantage of filing electronically and paying by credit card on Revenue’s Web site, The department accepts the following credit cards: MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card. There is an associated 2.49 percent processing fee.



Revenue launches its third credit-card payment option as many Tennesseans are making their holiday shopping lists. The Department of Revenue reminds online shoppers, mail-order customers, and out-of-state bargain hunters to e-file their consumer use tax, the counterpart to the state’s sales tax. Contrary to popular opinion, online and catalog sales are subject to use tax. This tax has been on the law books since 1947 and is the same rate as the sales tax. When a consumer purchases merchandise online or through a catalog and the seller of the merchandise does not collect sales tax, the customer who bought the item has a legal obligation to file and pay use tax on the merchandise.

In addition, purchasing merchandise outside of Tennessee, whether done physically or electronically, will not exempt someone from paying use tax if an equal amount of sales tax was not paid to another state at the time of purchase.

“We encourage customers to file and pay consumer use tax electronically, especially during the busy holiday season, because it is convenient and saves time,” said Revenue Commissioner Loren L. Chumley.

An online demonstration of the online consumer use application is available at

All taxpayer data, whether paper or electronic, filed with the Department of Revenue is confidential data protected under Tennessee law.

The department offers an electronic commerce hot line to assist taxpayers and tax practitioners who use the department’s ever-expanding suite of electronic tax filing options. The statewide toll-free phone number is (866) 368-6374. Nashville-area and out-of-state callers should dial (615) 253-0704.

The Department of Revenue offers computer access to customers who don’t have such technology, so they can file their taxes online. Computer access is available in the department’s offices located in Chattanooga, Jackson, Johnson City, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville Interested tax filers must be registered and have an account with the Department of Revenue.

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 92 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2005-2006 fiscal year, the department collected $10.3 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, $1.8 billion of local sales tax was collected by the department for local governments during the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to

Press Releases | Revenue