Bill in Oklahoma Legislature Looks to Close Gap in Income Tax, License Law

Article excerpt

Oklahoma law clearly states that a person who owes delinquent income taxes to the state of Oklahoma shall not be able to renew professional licensure until the matter is resolved. But the law doesn't say anything about issuing a brand-new license for someone who owes back taxes.

A law that appears to have been written to help more Oklahomans come into compliance with tax laws has instead created a loophole allowing more Oklahomans to skirt the intent of the law.

Title 68, Section 238.1 formerly prohibited a state license from being issued, renewed, reinstated or transferred until the Oklahoma Tax Commission verified that the applicant was in compliance with state income tax laws. That law was changed in 2001, to provide for the collection of income taxes "in a manner that will maximize flexibility for licensees to pay any such taxes due while minimizing disruption to operations of licensing entities."

If a licensee failed to pay taxes after every reasonable effort has been made by the Tax Commission to help, he or she would be denied renewal of a license. But the new version failed to address what would happen to a licensee who simply waited for a license to expire and applied for a new license without paying taxes.

For some professions, such as hairdressers, the state will issue only one identifying license number, which has to be renewed periodically. …