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Delaware’s No Sales Tax Torques Pennsylvania


For years Pennsylvania and other states that border Delaware have fought the battle of no-sales-tax purchasing versus a 6 to 8 percent sales tax purchase. Pennsylvania’s state sales tax rate is 6 percent, but local jurisdictions are allowed to apply a local rate up to 8 percent.  However, Philadelphia can impose up to 2 percent more in sales tax on top of that.

Delaware apparently proudly displays their tax-free shopping status as this graphic from aggressivedrivingonline.com below shows:

According to savingcommunities.org, “[t]here are only two shopping malls showing between Philadelphia and Delaware, the largest of which is mostly a clothing mall about 16 miles from Delaware (clothing being sales-tax exempt in Pennsylvania), with only one sporting goods store that might even try to sell big-ticket taxable items.”  This is because “Pennsylvania has a 6% sales tax…and Delaware has no sales tax at all.”

Blogs and customer reviews abound about tax-free savings in Delaware. An Apple store located itself on the Delaware side of the border with reviews from customers that included “I bought my Mac TAX-FREE,” and “Busted my budget…and no taxes.” One honest customer declared that though there is no sales tax on his purchase in Delaware, his “…state (Virginia) asks about any major purchases made in other states,” and he chooses to not lie on his tax return (“…not a good idea for those of us working for Uncle Sam or a contractor to him”).

And though use tax is due on those tax-free purchases made in Delaware by visitors from other states, one author stated, “…the threat of interest and other financial penalties that would hardly make the trip to Delaware worth it,” doesn’t seem to be a factor.

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”