State Tax Defense
Our company specializes in assisting clients with
serious state tax problems. We have personnel available who are
former criminal investigators for a state revenue agency.
Unfortunately, state compliance enforcement is less understood than
federal tax enforcement and, more often than you would think, businesses
find themselves in serious trouble before they fully understand what is
going on. If you are approached by a state tax authority and there
is any indication that the inquiry might be in connection with a criminal
investigation, you should not consent to be interviewed without seeking
advice and counsel. There are indications that an inquiry might be
the beginning of a criminal investigation rather than a simple audit and
it is vital that you understand the signs.
Sales tax issues are particularly troublesome.
With respect to sales tax, it is not tax evasion that is the issue.
Businesses collect sales tax as an agent of the state. Failure to
pay over all of the sales taxes collected can be prosecuted as theft of
state funds, not tax evasion. In most jurisdications this charge is
a felony. When faced with explaining to a state tax agency why all
of the sales tax funds were not remitted to the state, it is quite common
to offer excuses or rationalizations, such as a business downturn or other
problem that caused the business owner to "borrow" the funds
"temporarily." The owner will assert that there was no intention to
keep the money. Owners who offer up this excuse to the tax
authorities must understand that they have essentially confessed to the
commission of a crime! Again, do not face the tax authorities
without proper advice and counsel. We can assist you by helping you
evaluate any pending interaction and in finding an attorney and/or CPA if