States to zero-in on tax cheats

As economy sags
October 9, 2008 7:51:19 AM PDT
Amid all the financial chaos in the United States, there's at least one occupation with room for growth -- tax collector. Several states -- including New York, Massachusetts, California and Illinois -- are beefing up tax enforcement and collection efforts as they face widening budget deficits.

The sliding economy is forcing states to intensify efforts to close what they refer to as "tax gaps" -- the difference between what they believe they're owed and what tax cheats and delinquents actually pay.

As a result, tax agencies across the nation are renewing efforts to look for uncollected tax revenues anywhere they can find them, from major corporations to small businesses and individuals.

In New York, tax collectors are sending out reminders to small businesses, advising them of the consequences of not collecting or remitting state sales taxes. And they'll soon send letters to thousands of taxpayers whose returns were done by preparers who are under investigation for fraud.

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