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Comptroller's Office Not 'Aggressively' Enforcing PTA Sales Tax

A spokeswoman for Comptroller Peter Franchot said the office only reacted in response to inquiry made about sales tax; and is not targeting PTAs.

Following confusion about how PTAs should apply the sales tax, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot's office announced Tuesday that the school organizations will not be sanctioned for failing to uphold the law.

"It is a tax obligation," said Caron Brace, a spokeswoman for the office. "But it's just impractical and cumbersome to aggressively enforce."

The issue arose when a member of the Maryland PTA sent an email to the comptroller's office asking about sales tax. Brace said a colleague responded to the email to clarify what sales taxes PTAs are expected to collect.

She said on Monday that the office wasn't looking to target the groups.

"We want to work with the PTAs," Brace said.

Initial news reports quoted incoming Maryland PTA President Ray Leone as saying  PTAs were unaware they had to pay sales tax. Leone expressed concern that if the comptroller's office called for a collection of back taxes or audits, the PTAs would become bankrupt.

Current Maryland PTA President Rita Lowman could not be reached for comment ahead of deadline for Monday's blog post on the matter. However, Monday evening, Lowman said PTAs have known for "years and years" to collect sales tax, but there was confusion about how the tax applies to food items.

Lowman said PTAs across the state received notices this month clarifying the law regarding food items.

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Able Baker December 06, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Who are you kidding? You don't pay use tax. No one does.
Able Baker December 06, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Yes, how insulting and arrogant to expect you to support businesses where your friends and neighbors work and to fulfill your legal obligation as a citizen. How dare he.
Joe December 06, 2012 at 11:34 PM
And the many other day to day items purchased locally which I do pay the 6% and 9% for. I do my own plumbing and do you know how many trips I need to Home Depot? When I started it was Muirs Hardware. Yea, maybe HD had some cheaper prices but I still went to Muirs. If you had thought before you typed you would know how one can only escape so many sales taxes. Disclaimer: I do file Use Tax as required. That's the ticket.
Joe December 07, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Able Baker just didn't think about what his fingers typed. He wanted so to slur someone before he thought. Able, there are many things I cannot buy online that I need daily. There are things I can buy online cheaper than my auto mechanic can get them for locally. I pay my local neighborhood auto tech for his labor and he allows me, yes allows me to supply my own parts many times if the time allows. Many will not if I am not mistaken. After a 23 year relationship with him he has made me feel secure in my travels with my family. And every day to and form work. I can't buy my favorite adult beverage on line. I buy at the few places I have been for 23 years even if I can get it cheaper a few miles more away. Your assumptions preceded your brain. I don't think you are a bad person as you do I, but just think first.
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