Online Cigarette Tax

(MADISON) The state is going after smokers who bought cigarettes online.

The Department of Revenue is contacting about 2,000 people, telling them they owe back taxes and interest for purchasing those cigarettes over the Internet.

The state is getting the names from an online cigarette company. About 500 letters were mailed this week. Another batch will be mailed in August and September.

The cigarette tax is $0.77 a pack. The state says the smokers also have to pay a use tax, which is equivalent to their local and state sales tax. They also owe 18% annual interest, plus $20 a year in late fees.

Under the budget recently approved by the Legislature, the state would require online cigarette sellers to register and promise to collect taxes.

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