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Additional auditors generate $72 million more in revenue

Posted: 10:20 AM, Jan 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-02 11:20:14-05
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A boost in the number of auditors generated an additional $72 million in Wisconsin taxes in 2018, according to state revenue officials.

The additional revenue, about $10 million short of the Department of Revenue’s goal for 2018, is generated in part by the state’s increased focus on collecting taxes from out-of-state businesses that may not be aware they owe Wisconsin taxes, the State Journal reported.

Lawmakers set aside nearly $14 million in the 2015 budget to fund more than 100 additional positions in the revenue department to better ensure businesses outside the state were paying their required Wisconsin taxes. Before the positions were added, the state had about 290 tax auditors.

The state will also get a revenue boost from a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018 that makes it easier for state collection of remote online sales tax. The decision allows states to require out-of-state sellers without a physical presence in their state to collect sales taxes on items delivered there.

Before the court’s decision, out-of-state companies were generally required to collect sales tax only if they had an office or other property in the state.

Gov. Scott Walker and legislative Republicans in December’s lame-duck session passed a law that requires the state to put new revenue from online sales tax toward a tax cut. State revenue is expected to increase $60 million annually due to collection of the tax.