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Few in state aware of online purchase taxes

You could owe the state hundreds of dollars in taxes and not even know it. As tax time nears, state officials are spreading the word about "use taxes." These are the taxes you're supposed to pay for online purchases. From Sacramento, Tamara Keith has the story.

So, you just bought an awesome pair of shoes from your favorite online retailer, and bonus, they didn't charge you any sales tax. The state of California would like you to know that just because you weren't charged, doesn't mean you don't have to pay.

Under state law, you should save your receipts throughout the year, add up the amount of sales tax you should have paid and mark it down on your state tax form, line 51. John Chung, chairman of the California State Board of Equalization tries the guilt approach.

Chung: "These monies are used to pay for the general funds and if you look at the state level 52 percent of the monies go to pay for education so do you really want to take money out of Kindergartens paying for books, paying for classrooms, libraries. Do you really want to take money away from your local law enforcement officials, do you want to fix potholes, these are the essential questions you should ask. That's where these tax dollars go, to pay for essential services in the state."

Chung says each year the state loses about a billion dollars in tax revenues to online purchases. I'm Tamara Keith in Sacramento.

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