Every state that has a sales tax has a companion tax for purchases made outside that state by catalog, telephone, or Internet. In Michigan, that companion tax is called “use tax,” but might be described as a remote sales tax because it is a 6 percent tax owed on purchases made outside of Michigan.
Use tax is due on catalog, telephone, or Internet purchases made from out-of-state sellers as well as purchases while traveling in foreign countries when the items are to be brought into Michigan. Use tax must be paid on the total price (including shipping and handling charges).
Many Internet retailers charge tax on sales to Michigan residents. Beginning October 1, 2018, additional Internet retailers were required to pay Michigan sales tax and may collect tax on sales to Michigan residents. However, buyers using third-party platforms or marketplaces are less likely to have paid tax at the time of purchase and may still owe use tax. Taxpayers should review their records to determine if the retailer charged tax at the time of sale. If the Michigan tax was paid at 6 percent, no additional tax would be due.