Alabama wants taxes collected for online purchases

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama officials are warning residents that they may owe taxes on purchases made online or with out-of-state retailers.

Department of Revenue spokeswoman Carla Snellgrove said the state has started a pilot program that sends letters to a random sample of taxpayers who did not report any use taxes on their annual filings.

Alabama residents are required to pay a 4% tax when a retailer doesn't collect the state sales tax. That tax could apply to computers, books, electronics and clothing purchased online or from an out-of-state store.

In a typical year, less than 1% of the 1.8 million people filing an Alabama tax return report owing any use tax.

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