Measure to Boost Tax Collections by $17M Passes Oklahoma Legislature

Apr 20, 2017

Credit Oklahoma Watch

A bill expected to net millions in revenue next year by expanding the definition of “noncompliant taxpayer” goes to the governor.

House Bill 2343 says the definition now applies when filings are missed on any tax but income for two out of 24 months. Currently, the definition only applies to missed sales tax filings and payments.

Sen. Roger Thompson said the change doesn't mean the Oklahoma Tax Commission will suddenly have broad powers to go after anyone in the state.

"That's taxpayers operating under a sales tax permit, and so, when you start asking about seeing who it applies to, that's where it applies," Thompson said.

"It will bring $17 million to us from those who are now noncompliant, not remitting the withholding tax that they have that they've already collected, not remitting the liquor tax that they've already collected and not remitting to the state of Oklahoma that is already due to the citizens of Oklahoma," Thompson said.

Sen. Anthony Sykes said expanding the definition to include any tax but income gives the Oklahoma Tax Commission too much power.

"Right now, we've got the tax commission on a leash, with limits in Oklahoma, which I totally agree with," Sykes said. "This takes it to the universe, including the Obamacare penalty tax for the Obamacare."

HB2343 also lets the tax commission close a noncompliant taxpayer’s business after three months out of 24 of missed filings for any tax law. It passed the Senate 25–19.

The Senate also passed Thursday House Bill 2344, which caps annual payments of the state's film and music tax rebate at $4 million rather than $5 million. It passed 36–8 without debate.

The measures are among several taken up by the legislature in Monday's meeting of the joint committee on appropriations and budget.