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State

Estimate: Illinois to lose $212M in online taxes

SPRINGFIELD – New estimates show the state of Illinois will lose $212 million in unpaid sales taxes from online purchases during 2013.

The Illinois Department of Revenue released the updated 2013 figure, which is up from the estimated loss of $183 million in 2012.

Including the 2013 figure, total losses for Illinois over the past five years would be $820 million, The State Journal-Register in Springfield reported.

“We look at national sales and Illinois online sales trends,” revenue department spokeswoman Sue Hofer said. She said the figure has risen along with the popularity of online shopping.

The revenue department says Illinois collected about $12 million in sales taxes from self-reported online purchases in 2012 – up $500,000 from 2011.

“Basically, before we were only getting boats and other big purchases,” Hofer said. “We weren’t getting books and small items.”

The updated figure comes as lawmakers in Washington consider legislation that would give states the power to collect sales taxes from Internet purchases.

Uncollected sales tax estimates in Illinois were $125 million in 2009; $143 million in 2010; $157 million in 2011; $183 million in 2012 and $212 million for this year.

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