Governor Orders Stop to Effort to Get Taxes on Internet Smokes

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The governor wants the state to stop trying to collect back taxes on cigarettes sold online.

Thursday night, Governor Doyle ordered the state Department of Revenue to suspend its effort to collect taxes and penalties from thousands of Wisconsin residents who bought their smokes from online vendors who didn't charge Wisconsin sales tax.

It all started last month when 500 taxpayers received letters asking them to compute and pay their delinquent taxes for online cigarette purchases since September 1999.

Doyle says the move bothered him because it put a burden on people, especially on older citizens.

Meredith Helgerson is a spokeswoman for the Revenue Department. She says state tax collectors have the names of 6,000 Wisconsinites who bought their cigarettes from five online cigarette companies.

That could have translated to about $3 million in total back taxes owed.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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