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Businesses should not keep sales and withholding taxes

Published: November 30, 2012

Regarding “New sales tax enforcement law concerns some business owners” (News, Nov. 19): It's odd that Michael Delaney is unhappy with the Republican-controlled Legislature because of new laws regarding sales tax collection. Prior to serving 12 years in the Legislature, I was employed at the Oklahoma Tax Commission for 13 years where one of my duties included preparing tax bills for the mail room. It's amazing how many businesses keep sales and withholding taxes instead of remitting them.

While in the Legislature I supported efforts to improve collection for these taxes because communities are hurt when they're not remitted in a timely manner. Perhaps Delaney doesn't understand that the taxes paid by customers belong to the people of Oklahoma and aren't intended to be an emergency fund for a business. It's fair to consider a business noncompliant if it fails to report or remit sales taxes three times during a 24-month period. Businesses that don't comply ought to pay the consequences.

Oklahoma taxpayers spend too much time and money collecting delinquent taxes that could be spent on critical needs. The attitude expressed by Delaney only serves to exacerbate the problem and foster hatred toward our government.

Al Lindley, Oklahoma City


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