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Wyoming DOR: Use Tax and You

  • Dec 18, 2012 | Gail Cole

The Wyoming Department of Revenue has issued a news bulletin entitled, "Use Tax and You." Its purpose is to educate taxpayers about their use tax obligations.

Bulletin #21 reminds that use tax is not a new tax; it has been in effect since the Sales and Use Tax Act of 1937. Use tax is "complementary to sales taxes… ." It "imposes tax on purchases of tangible personal property made in another state and brought into Wyoming for storage, use or consumption where no sales tax had been paid at the time of purchase or where sales tax had been underpaid … at the time of purchase." It is intended to put "Wyoming vendors on equal footing with their out-of-state counter parts… ."

The general state sales and use tax in Wyoming is 4%, though the rate can be higher in certain areas due to locally imposed taxes. Montana, to the north, doesn't have a general state sales tax. If a Wyoming resident drives to Montana (which takes a certain amount of gumption, because roads are few and distances can be great), buys something there without paying sales tax, and brings it back to Wyoming to use, store or consume, use tax is owed to the state of Wyoming on that purchase.

Use Tax Applies to?

Use tax applies to items including, but not limited to:

  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products;
  • Clothing;
  • Building materials;
  • Boats;
  • Appliances; and
  • Furniture.

Use tax also applies to purchases made online and by phone or mail, "[i]f the retailer did not collect Wyoming sales tax on the purchase… ."

The news bulletin underscores that it is the responsibility of Wyoming taxpayers -- both individuals and businesses -- to pay use tax when sales tax was not collected. Furthermore, if a consumer pays sales tax in another state but pays less sales tax than would be collected in the Wyoming county where the consumer lives, the consumer owes the difference to the state of Wyoming. No tax is due "if the tax rate is a higher percentage in the bordering state than the consumer's home county sales tax rate… ."

Use tax should be submitted along with a Wyoming Consumer Use Tax Return -- Form 44. The form may also be submitted through the Wyoming Department of Revenue's Internet Filing System (WYIFS).

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.