Iowa is one of 19 states that’re taking part in a voluntary program to streamline the paperwork for sales and use taxes they collect. Don Cooper of the Iowa Department of Revenue says the agreement between the states has several goals.He says it’s designed to simplify their sales tax laws and make them more uniform, and make the tax administration forms more uniform. He says it would allow retailers that sell across state lines that haven’t collected the taxes to start collecting them. Cooper says it’s particularly tough for businesses that sell items across their borders. He says each states laws, or filing requirements or payment requirements are a little different. He says that’s given businesses an excuse to say it too difficult to collect the tax if they weren’t required to do so. Cooper says the agreement also includes an amnesty program to encourage businesses to take part. He says if there are retailers that have had enough business that would require them to register with a state, but they haven’t registered, the agreement would let them register without having to pay the back taxes they owe. Cooper says the agreement should help the coffers of the states involved. He says they’ve made projections that in the first year Iowa would collect one to three million and three to five million in the next year. But, he says right now it’s a strictly voluntary system. Full-member states involved along with Iowa include Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and West Virginia. Associate-member states are Arkansas, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. Nevada will become an Associate-member state on January 1, 2006. Cooper says they hope to add states as the program moves ahead.
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