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Consumer Use Tax -- Quick Answers
Every state that has a sales tax also has a “companion” tax for purchases made outside the state through online, telephone or catalog ordering services. In Colorado, this tax is called “use tax.” To be compliant with tax laws, the purchaser of goods from outside Colorado must report and pay use tax when sales tax is not collected by the seller on a taxable item, such as clothing, electronics, appliances or other tangible property.
Am I required to complete the use tax portion of the income tax return
Leaving that portion of the return blank indicates the taxpayer does not want to use the income tax form to report and remit any consumer use tax liability they may have for the prior year. However leaving it blank does not mean that the taxpayer is formally stating there is no use tax liability. Taxpayers may confidentially and without fear of criminal prosecution report zero on the use tax line of their individual income tax return. The department’s working assumption will be that the taxpayer either had no use tax liability or they chose to report it through one of the other methods available to them.
How can I determine how much use tax I need to report and pay
Most online companies that didn't charge you sales tax can let you know how much you purchased during the prior calendar year which will help make it easy for you to calculate how much tax you owe.
How do I know if I’m located in a special district area
More than half of Colorado residents live in one or more special districts. Most residents of the Denver metropolitan area are within the district boundaries of both the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (CD). Reference publication
, contact your county assessor’s office, or view district maps for additional information to determine whether you live within the boundaries of a special district.
How do I know if I paid any tax on my purchase
Check your invoice or receipt to see if tax was paid. Some online purchases will have sales or use tax included. Many online or out-of-state retailers do not collect sales or use tax from customers on purchases.
What is the consumer use tax rate
The state consumer use tax rate is the same as the state sales tax rate, 2.9 percent. Use tax is also collected by some special districts such as the Metropolitan Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the Metropolitan Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).
What is the deadline for reporting and paying the tax
Individual consumer use tax is due by the income tax due date for the prior tax year. For example, state and RTD/SCFD owed on items purchased during the year must be remitted to the department on or before the income tax due date of the next year.
Where do I report and pay consumer use tax
Taxpayers can elect to voluntarily report their consumer use tax owed to the state and some special districts on the
Consumer Use Tax Return (DR 0252)
Consumer Use Tax Reporting Schedule (DR 0104US)
, the department's free, one-stop website for filing taxes, managing tax accounts and checking refund status.
To report via Revenue Online, click on "File a Return" under the Quick Links menu. Then, select "Consumer Use Tax" from the list of options. The tax rates for the taxpayer’s residence or business location are built into this service. The easy-to-use system calculates the amount of tax owed based on the purchase total and will help taxpayers avoid calculation errors. The consumer use tax calculations are also built in when taxpayers file their individual income tax return via Revenue Online and enter total purchases that were not taxed.
Forms and payment by check may be mailed to:
Colorado Department of Revenue
Denver, CO 80261-0006
Please note: This address and zip code are exclusive to the Colorado Department of Revenue, so a street address is not required.
In addition to payment by check, the tax may be paid online by e-check, credit card or electronic funds transfer in
Why is the tax on the income tax return
As a means to increase public awareness about consumer use tax and to make filing convenient since the filing deadline for consumer use tax is the same deadline as the income tax filing deadline, the opportunity to report and remit consumer use tax is available on the Colorado individual income tax return for 2015 and 2016.
Relief -- Natural disasters
The Colorado Department of Revenue understands some taxpayers will be unable to meet Colorado filing and payment deadlines as a result of various natural disasters (tornadoes, wildfires, floods,etc.)
For more information see
Filing Relief -- Natural Disasters