A purchase may be subject to use tax for a number of reasons. The most common reasons are:
The tax rate for sales tax and for use tax is the same. The Texas state sales and use tax is 6.25 percent, but local taxing jurisdictions (cities, counties, special purpose districts and transit authorities) may also impose sales and use tax up to 2 percent for a total maximum combined rate of 8.25 percent. If you purchase a taxable item, you will have to pay state and local use taxes.
Yes. A seller who uses catalogs or the internet to sell goods is treated the same as any other seller of taxable items. If you purchase merchandise through a catalog or online from a seller located in Texas, you owe Texas sales tax on the purchase. If you purchase merchandise through a catalog or online from a seller located outside of Texas and use the taxable item in Texas, you owe Texas use tax on the purchase. An out-of-state mail-order company or an internet company may hold a Texas Sales and Use tax permit and collect Texas tax. If the out-of-state seller does not have a Texas permit or does not collect Texas use tax, use tax is due and payable by the purchaser.
If you have a sales tax permit and bought goods or services that are subject to use tax, report your purchase on your Texas sales tax return on line 3, "taxable purchases."
If you do not hold a Texas sales and use tax permit and you bought items on which the seller did not collect Texas sales or use tax, report your purchases on Form 01-156, Texas Use Tax Return (PDF).
If you paid another state's sales or use tax on the merchandise, you can take a credit for the amount of sales tax paid to the other state.