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Online sales tax cheating is rampant, Gov. Herbert says

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 20:16:33-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's estimated 1.6 percent of Americans don't cheat on their taxes.

That leaves about 98 percent of people who Governing.com says are being honest on their taxes.

The rest of us are cheating, according to Utah Governor Gary Herbert, though he thinks the federal government should take a lot of the blame.

"We would not tolerate anybody cheating on their income taxes, we should not tolerate people cheating on the sales tax portion of their obligation," Herbert said.

Most states require sales tax be paid, but the burden on calculating those taxes is on the consumer, who would need to track their online purchases and then submit documentation to the state along with payment of those owed taxes each year. It's a process many tax payers apparently don't bother to keep up with.

Herbert says the federal government needs to take on the issue that robs state coffers of 180 million dollars a year, but Utah legislators will debate state measures that would require online retailers to charge state sales taxes if the federal government doesn't.