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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
  Let no smoke go un-taxed
State wants its cut of online smokes: "FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Revenue is telling Hoosiers who buy their smokes online to cough up unpaid cigarette taxes.

The recent move by the state agency makes Indiana one of several states trying to recoup tax dollars lost to online cigarette sales.

“I think because a few states started showing there are tax dollars being lost we decided it warranted us looking into it,” agency spokeswoman Cathy Henninger told The Journal Gazette for a story published Sunday.

Department of Revenue auditors do not know how much money the state may be losing due to online transactions with dealers in other states that do not collect Indiana cigarette taxes. The state took in more than $338 million in cigarette taxes in 2004. That was down slightly from the previous year.

The department obtained the customer and mailing lists of three major online cigarette vendors and in April began sending tax bills based on those purchases, which go back to July 2003.

So far, the agency has collected about $3,000 after sending out 160 bills seeking $54,000 in cigarette taxes."
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