Maine bill seeks to ban ‘tax zapper’ programs

Posted Feb. 06, 2012, at 8:10 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — So-called tax zapper computer programs that help tax cheats in Maine would be banned under a bill up for legislative review.

The Taxation Committee on Tuesday afternoon holds a hearing on Rep. Seth Berry’s bill, which is aimed at software programs that falsify electronic sales records so businesses can underreport the totals and lower their sales tax bills.

Berry, a Democrat from Bowdoinham, says the state loses about $10 million a year in revenues because of the zapper programs. The tax-evading programs have been detected in other states and countries and now Maine tax officials are expressing concerns about them.

Berry’s bill would reduce penalties for those who correct and fully report any previously underreported sales records before Sept. 1, 2012. But their financial liabilities would not be reduced.

 

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