Oklahoma consumers often make purchases online in order to avoid paying state and local sales taxes. But, in many cases, they owe taxes to the state and local governments.
Businesses that don’t currently automatically collect are asked to begin reminding customers that the taxes are due. Consumers can go to the state’s web page and pay or they can report it on their state income taxes.
There is no requirement that online retailers notify the state. Gov. Brad Henry had proposed the idea of internet sales taxes. He believes that the state was losing about $95 million a year from such transactions.
One local retailer told us it’s not fair that local businesses must carry the weight of taxation.
He said shoppers often come and look at his products and then figure the tax savings before going online to make the purchase.
Meanwhile, he collects the taxes to fund police, fire and other state and local services. For now, it’s still on the honor system. We’ll reserve judgment on whether a gentle reminder to the purchasers to pay the taxes will work.