Pennsylvania will look for ways to collect a greater percentage of its six percent sales and use tax from out-of-state Internet sales, according to the Revenue Department’s Acting Secretary. Daniel Meuser. Meuser told members of the House Appropriations Committee that the $350 million the state collects from out-ofstate sales is about half of what should be collected.
“We plan to enforce the laws of payment on the sales and use tax, and also educate the general public as well as businesses to the important fact that use tax should be paid,” Meuser told members of the Appropriations Committee.
At the same time, Meuser admitted that the state has to rely on voluntary compliance in instances where the purchases are made from companies that have no physical presence in Pennsylvania. He also said he was uncertain whether Governor Corbett would sign legislation to have retailers provide tracers to identify Internet sales.
A spokesperson for Revenue said that as of the 2011 tax year the state will begin putting a compliance box for out-of-state Internet sales on tax returns.
“We recognize that the putting a box on the state tax return still means it’s up to the individual taxpayer to voluntarily admit that they bought something from out-of-state over the Internet,” said Revenue Press Secretary, Elizabeth Brassell. “But we’re also monitoring developments in other states to see how they’re handling the problem.”
Pennsylvania faces a $4 billion budget deficit over the 2011-12 fiscal year that begins July 1. Last week, Governor Corbett proposed a budget that makes deep cuts to higher education and other programs in order to balance the budget with no additional taxes. He ran for Governor on a no new tax pledge.