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Revoked tax permit Web site brings compliance

A Minnesota Department of Revenue Web site featuring a list of Minnesota businesses that have failed to file or pay sales tax has collected more than $124,000 in its first weeks on-line. Minnesota is the only state to list businesses that are not in compliance.

Only one (former) business is listed for Becker County -- Super Lube Service Centers of Detroit Lakes, which owes $7,885 in unpaid sales tax and lost its state license to collect sales tax on Nov. 30.

So far, four businesses have paid the sales tax owed to the state, in full, according to a news release from the state revenue department. The last update was on May 1.

"This is exactly the type of success we were hoping for by putting this list on our website," said Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess. "It is important that every individual and business pay the state exactly what is owed. Customers paying sales tax trust these businesses to comply with the law."

The Minnesota Department of Revenue launched the website in an effort to bring delinquent debtors into compliance and inform the public that these businesses cannot make taxable sales. The department is able to list the businesses at no cost to taxpayers.

When a business pays sales tax in full it is immediately removed from the list and the sales tax permit is reinstated.

To view the list on-line:

-- Go to:

-- Select "Collection Division" on the left side of the screen.

-- Select "Revoked Sales Tax Permits" on the right side of the screen.

Minnesota sales tax is a "trust tax." Customers who pay sales tax trust and expect businesses to send it to the state on their behalf. It must not be used by a business as additional operating capital or for any other purpose.

If an individual or business makes retail sales in Minnesota after revocation of a Minnesota sales tax permit, the action is considered a felony under Minnesota law.

The last update was on May 1.