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States look to tax collection to fill empty coffers

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in Small Business Tax

Several states, including New York, Massachusetts, California and Illinois, are cracking down on sales tax cheats to help fill state coffers drained by the tanking economy, the Associated Press recently reported.

William Comiskey, deputy commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, told the AP, “I’m not interested in a lot of arrests. I’m interested in increasing the number of voluntary taxpayers.”

The department recently sent letters to thousands of small businesses, reminding them of the penalties for sidestepping their obligation to pay sales taxes. The warning letters are part of an effort to bring businesses into a new program that helps taxpayers pay back taxes and avoid criminal charges.

According to researchers at The Tax Foundation, small businesses tend to be the biggest tax evaders.

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