Tulsa Looking To Plug $10 Million Online Sales Tax Leak - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Tulsa Looking To Plug $10 Million Online Sales Tax Leak

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Go to a local store and buy a television, and the store automatically charges you sales tax, but go online and buy that same TV, and you could very well avoid that sales tax simply because the seller doesn't collect it. But, that doesn't mean you don't owe it.

"It's the law, we are required to do it," said Breck Buchanan with the city of Tulsa, trying to raise awareness of what's known as the Use Tax.

"Yeah, a lot of people just don't know about this," he said.

 "Have you ever heard of use tax? No," said one woman shopping at Tulsa Hills.

And she's far from alone. 97% of folks either don't know to pay or don't care to pay state taxes on their online out-of-state buys, adding up to a big headaches for cities like Tulsa.

"It could be at least $10 million a year that we're losing due to online purchases," said Buchanan.

Which means less money for things like cops and firefighters. A digital loophole that just about everybody takes advantage of.

"I think technology is ahead of the time is what's happening," said Larry Miller. He's one of the few who actually takes the time to roughly keep track of his online buys and pony up.

"At the end of the year on income tax, I pick out amount what I think it is, and last year I think it was $1,000 bucks that I spent online," he said.

But for every Larry there's 9 other people who say...

"If I can save $50 bucks not having to pay taxes or however much I'm spending, you know, do it," said Steve Collier.

A sentiment that says, 'I'm burdened enough without having to do what should be someone else's tax collecting job.'

"Once they figure it out then we'll just go with it, and till then save some extra money," said Collier.

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