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October 9, 2012


Failure to pay sales tax leads to criminal charges in Texas case

The tax system is ultimately based on trust. To be sure, the IRS is often aggressive in auditing and investigating taxpayers for failure to file taxes or for alleged errors. So are revenue agents in Texas and other states.

For the most part, however, the government depends on voluntary compliance in order to fill its coffers with tax payments from individuals and businesses. For that reason, suspected wrongdoing by tax officials is grounds for significant concern.

Such was the case recently in Texas, though. In the Waco area, there were allegations that the country assessor tried to avoid paying sales tax on a motor vehicle purchase. The transaction involved the sale of a vehicle owned by the county and the purchase of a private vehicle.

More specifically, the allegation was that the assessor claimed trade-in value on the county’s truck, then turned around and applied it to his private purchase of a truck at an auto dealership. This may have saved him $1,375 in sales tax.

This transaction led to a Texas Ranger investigation. Eventually, the assessor pleaded guilty to charges of misusing county vehicles. The assessor will begin serving a 180-day prison term soon.

But the district attorney’s office has dismissed charges against two others in connection with the case. The two were an assistant in the tax assessor’s office and a manager at the auto dealership.

This case is just one of many different types of cases that can involve criminal tax matters. Tax evasion, tax fraud and money laundering are among the others.

Source: “Felony charges dismissed against 2 in Buddy Skeen case,”, Tommy Witherspoon, 10-6-12

Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Texas criminal tax defense page.

Tax Crimes