Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Watch what you report

This is part of an occasional series illustrating the ways that the states manage to find out about you not paying your taxes. Not that you would do anything like that.

The first method we'll talk about is by comparing numbers. This article caught my eye because it describes how a convenience store got busted for collecting sales taxes on tobacco and liquor, but not bothering to pay that money to the state. The amount of the taxes, depending on how you read the article, was probably over $300,000. Seems like this guy might be getting fitted for the orange jumpsuit. I mean, they mention "felony" several times in the article. Here's the press release if the above link doesn't work. And there's a picture!

The state figured it out because Texas now requires alcohol and liquor distributors to report their sales to individual stores to the state. By comparing what the distributors said they sold, to what the retailer reported as taxable sales, they can start focusing their auditors on the real problems.

You actually don't hear that much about this kind of comparison and data mining. It seems like comparing state income tax and/or franchise tax returns would also be on the agenda as well. But hey, it's just me. Still, it's nice to see Texas is thinkin'

So watch out. If your numbers don't jibe with the numbers someone else is reporting, it could be orange casual wear for you too.

No posting tomorrow on 12/31/09. See you on Monday. Happy New Year.

The Sales Tax Guy

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