Experts say efforts by the state of Vermont to collect unpaid sales taxes on purchases made out-of-state or online are part of long-running efforts by states to collect what are known as use taxes.
Last month, Vermont sent thousands of letters to taxpayers reminding them that use taxes are not new and they must be paid.
Tax Commissioner Kaj (Kai) Samsom says the letters are part of a broader education campaign to remind people of the taxes. The letter tells taxpayers how they can pay the taxes for past years, but he says there are no broader enforcement plans.
Verenda Smith of the Federation of Tax Administrators in Washington says states have been grappling with how to collect use taxes for decades and education is one method.
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