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cheating the state

Posted by wlpo on September 25, 2011

A newspaper reports that more than one-fourth of Illinois gas station operators have pocketed millions of dollars of sales tax owed to the cash-strapped state by underreporting the amount of fuel they sell to the public. The Chicago Tribune reports in its Sunday editions that indictments over the past year and a half accuse at least 14 of the state’s roughly 2,400 gas station operators of illegally withholding a portion of the sales taxes their customers paid at the pump. But that’s just a fraction of the 651 operators the Illinois Department of Revenue says has cheated the state. Some $54 million in back sales taxes, interest and penalties have been recouped largely through settlements or after scofflaws came forward under the threat of greater penalties.

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