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Next Year's Pennsylvania Tax Return Will Test Your Honesty

HARRISBURG (CBS) - Like to shop on the Internet? Do you head to Delaware to avoid sales taxes? Next year's Pennsylvania income tax forms will test your honesty.

Next year, Pennsylvania's tax forms will add a "use tax" line requiring you to declare any sales tax you may owe for items purchased from out-of-state retailers.

Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser says you will have to fill in that line. While he admits that for most individual taxpayers, if you fib by entering zero, you're not likely to get caught, he still thinks the state will collect some money.

"Well, we do. And number one, most people, in fact at least 90 percent of people, want to willingly pay their fair share of taxes. But secondly, other states have added such a line," Meuser said.

New York, for example, collected about $5 million in the first year and Meuser hopes Pennsylvania can do about $4 million, which is a figure he admits is just a fraction of what is actually due.

He does warn however, businesses can be audited if there's reason to believe they owe "use taxes."

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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