“The goal is to level the playing field,” Division working to collect millions owed to Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY – State officials say a bill that was authored in 2017 is already having a positive impact on the state.

Rep. Kyle Hilbert and Sen. James Leewright authored House Bill 1427 in 2017, which created the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s Out-of-State Compliance Division. Officials said the division was created so the state could collect unpaid taxes owed to Oklahoma by remote sellers or out-of-state individuals, firms and corporations.

“The goal is to level the playing field for in-state and out-of-state businesses while collecting revenue the state is owed,” said Sen. Leewright, R-Bristow. “I am proud of this legislation because it is working for the people of Oklahoma, and it is exceeding our expectations. Based on these early returns, I am optimistic that the Tax Commission will increase their efforts to find and collect these unpaid taxes.”

So far, the division has already found $15.2 million in unpaid sales, use and withholding taxes in Fiscal Year 2018, and $24.5 million in unpaid taxes in Fiscal Year 2019. At this point, the division has collected $9.9 million of the FY 2019 assessments.  Collections data from FY 2018 is unavailable.

“For a small investment in staff and resources, we have located, assessed and collected millions of dollars in taxes that are owed to our state,” said Hilbert, R-Bristow. “And I believe there are millions more out there that can be located and collected on an annual basis. These are the types of simple reforms that make our government more efficient and ensure that we are properly collecting and using the resources we are already owed before we raise more revenue from our citizens.”

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