by Russell Blair
February 15, 2018
The state Department of Revenue Services is combing through customer records from major online retailers to hunt down taxpayers who skipped out on the often-ignored use tax.
Kevin Sullivan, commissioner of the tax department, said it’s part of an effort to ramp-up collection of the use tax; Connecticut taxpayers are supposed to pay the state a 6.35 percent tax on any purchases made out-of-state or online where no sales tax is paid, but the vast majority do not.
“Usually we don’t have the data, but in several cases companies have said … we’ll squeal on our customers and you can beat up on them,” Sullivan said. “The people who sold to them have ratted them out.”
A tax expert in Washington, D.C., said Connecticut is the first state to take this approach: requesting data from retailers about online purchases by state residents that were not subject to sales tax and checking to see if the customers made required tax payments.