According to a Department of Justice press release, a federal grand jury recently indicted a pair of business owners from the Miami area on charges related to defrauding the government and tax evasion as a part of a scheme to avoid paying federal excise taxes. Although federal excise taxes may not be an area of taxation that affects every taxpayer, this story is nonetheless illustrative of the need to consult with an experienced tax professional at the first sign of trouble with the IRS.
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Court documents reveal that Eira Luces-Parra and Marco Parra were the owners and operators of Road Tire Plus Corporation. The married couple operated their business in Miami. Prosecutors alleged that between 2013 and 2016, the Parras conspired with other individuals in an attempt to avoid paying federal excise tax on the sale of tires.
Under federal law, any truck tire that is marked for use on a highway is subject to federal excise taxes. The importer of the tire is responsible for the excise tax upon sale. Generally, importers recuperate their excise tax cost by passing it on to the retailer, who passes it on to the customer. An exception to the excise tax rules exists when a tire is imported into the United States, but subsequently sold to a buyer outside of the country.
Prosecutors allege that the Parras collected excise taxes from a portion of the retailers that they sold to but failed to remit such taxes to the government. Additionally, the Parras allegedly failed to collect excise taxes from another group of retailers that they sold to, and instead, worked with co-conspirators to generate false bills of lading, purporting that the tires were exported and thus, no excise taxes were due.
If the Parras are convicted, they face up to five years in prison for each count. Additionally, they face a term of supervised release. Finally, the Parras could be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS representing the amount of the tax loss.
As we indicated at the outset of this story, the number of taxpayers that are subject to truck tire excise taxes are relatively low, but this story is an illustration that there are many types of taxes that affect individuals and businesses aside from a standard income tax. Whether the tax is common or not, the IRS and state taxing authorities will not look the other way when it comes to negligent or intentional tax non-compliance.
If you have received a notice that your tax returns are being examined or if you have failed to file a tax return (income, sales and use, or otherwise), it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax attorney as soon as possible. Your tax attorney will work with you to develop a strategy that prioritizes your physical and financial freedom. Although being non-compliant with regard to your state or federal taxes creates a large civil and criminal exposure, there are many avenues and methods that can be utilized to help rectify the situation.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing a diverse group of taxpayers. From individuals to middle-market businesses and beyond, our team of zealous advocates will assist in the development of a strategy to help you reach your specific goals and objectives. Whether you are under a tax examination or are in need of tax planning advice, contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today, online or by phone at (800) 681-1295, for a reduced-rate consultation.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosure before the IRS has started an audit or criminal tax prosecution, the taxpayer can be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply. It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax Attorneys, Kovel CPAs and EAs, our firm provides a one-stop-shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results. See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!
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