The use tax is the counterpart to the sales tax. It is applied when merchandise (tangible personal property) is purchased from outside the state of Tennessee and imported into the state for use or consumption. The 45 states that impose a sales tax also levy a use tax.
The use tax protects local merchants, who must collect sales tax, from unfair competition from out-of-state sellers who do not collect Tennessee's sales tax and provides revenue for the operation of state government.
Taxpayers are encouraged to file and pay their use tax obligations online through the Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP).