AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine Revenue Services has implemented a special use tax program for the next few weeks in an effort to collect millions of dollars in taxes owed by residents and businesses alike.
"It is estimated that Maine probably loses $15 to $25 million annually on unreported and paid use tax," stated Stan Campbell, Deputy Director of Maine Revenue Services' Compliance Division.
"Use tax is the equivalent of sales tax," he explained. "Use tax is due when you make a purchase out of state, bring the item to Maine, or through the internet or a catalogue and it is shipped to Maine, and it is a taxable item, which the sales tax was not charged and paid on."
Campbell says the use tax laws have been on the books in Maine since 1951, though many people are confused about what their responsibilities and liabilities are.
He says that is why Maine Revenue Services is running a series of ads to educate Mainers about the law, and compel them to comply with it voluntarily. He says a similar program back in 2006 generated about $7 million in use tax receipts.
As an incentive to get people to pay what they owe, the state is offering a deal for people who have lagged behind on their use tax responsibilities.
Between now and November 30th, they are asking people to look over their records and see what they owe for the past six years. If they pay the amount owed for the highest three years by the end of November, they will not be charged any interest or penalties and will only have to pay the tax for those three years.
Maine Revenue Services has plenty of information and tables to help folks figure out what their liabilities are, or you can call them during normal business hours at 207-624-9595.