Two recent cases of sales tax fraud have come down to the wire. And conviction doesn’t just mean penalties and fines.
In one case, the owner of an auto sales group was arrested with bond set at $50,000. Charges included theft of property (a Class B felony) and fraud (a Class E felony). Conviction will mean up to 12 years of jail time with a hefty fine of $25,000 for the theft of property and up to two years of jail time and a fine for the sales tax fraud.
In another recent case, a market and deli owner pleaded guilty of theft, a Class C felony, and was ordered to pay the amount of sales tax that had gone unreported on her sales tax returns—a total of $58,408.72. Although she was found guilty of a Class E felony and Class C felony, there was no mention of jail time sentenced.
According to the Revenue Commissioner, Richard H. Roberts, “The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity.” Roberts commented that it was his feeling that, “the majority of businesses pay appropriate taxes. [And] we will continue to pursue criminal activity and prosecute tax evaders to assure fairness in our tax structure for Tennesseans.”
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