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100 S.E. 3rd Ave., Suite 2202

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394

Office (954) 761-3700

Fax (954) 761-1004

8875 Hidden river PKWY, Suite 230

Tampa, FL 33637

Office (813) 775-2131

Fax (866) 388-3029

3500 Financial Plaza, Suite 330

Tallahassee, FL 32312

Office (850) 250-3830

Fax (866) 388-3029


NAPLES - JAILED FOR FAILURE TO FILE SALES TAX RETURNS

On April 25, 2013, [name omitted], owner of Tony Rosado Automotive Services, Inc. located at 1890 Elsa St., Naples, Florida was arrested by the Collier County Sheriff's Department on felony charges for allegedly FAILURE TO FILE SIX CONSEQUETIVE SALES TAX RETURNS. The Naples, Florida resident faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines in addition to repayment of any taxes, interest, and investigation expenses. According to investigators, [name omitted] collected sales tax from customers in the auto repair business but during periods of 2007 through 2010, he failed to file sales tax returns as mandated by Florida law.

Florida law requires business owners that provide auto repair services to act as a sales tax collection agent to the state and they must file returns and remit all sales tax collected to state of Florida. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion in the industry because a pure labor service is not subject to sales tax. However, if any tangible personal property transfers to the customer, then the whole transaction is subject to sales tax – even a drop of oil. Thus, the industry faces close scrutiny from the Florida Department of Revenue. Further, Florida sales tax is required to be separately stated on the customers invoice and Florida law mandates that the taxes collected be the property of the state from the moment it is collected from the customer. Therefore, despite putting these amounts in their own checking accounts, business owners must segregate sales tax collect and remit it to the state in a timely fashion.

A link to a helpful article below spells out the various service industries that are potentially subject to sales and use tax in Florida.

Sales tax collected but not remitted is a crime under Florida law and must be taken extremely seriously. It surprises most business owners to know that the Florida Department of Revenue is dramatically more likely to arrest a business owner for tax fraud than the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"). While both the IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue will put tax liens on the business property (called a "Tax Warrant" in Florida), the Florida Department of Revenue will also put the business owner in jail if the taxes and all associated penalties, interest, fines, and costs are not remitted.

If you or someone you know has collected but not remitted Florida sales tax, then please contact an attorney experienced in Florida sales and use tax criminal defense for a confidential conversation to discuss his or her options. There are mechanisms in place that allow individuals or their attorney to negotiate with the state to enter into a payment plan. While the monetary sanctions can be harsh, it is better than losing one's freedom. Like any other crime, anything said by you is an admission and can be used against you at a criminal trial. Therefore, it is wise to have an attorney speak on your behalf.

At the Law Office of the Law Offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A., our primary practice area is Florida taxes, with a very heavy emphasis in Florida sales and use tax. We have defended clients against criminal charges related to Florida sales and use taxes for more than 20 years. In fact, the only criminal cases we handle are related to Florida sales and use taxes. Our partners are both CPAs and Attorneys, so we understand both the accounting side of the situation as well as the legal side. We represent taxpayers and business owners from the entire state of Florida. Call our offices today for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to confidentially discuss how we can help put this nightmare behind you.

Florida sales tax help, Florida sales tax attorney, Florida sales tax lawyer, Fl sales tax arrest, Florida sales tax auditABOUT THE AUTHOR: MR. SUTTON IS A FLORIDA LICENSED CPA AND ATTORNEY AND A SHAREHOLDER IN THE LAW FIRM the Law Offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A. MR. SUTTON IS IN CHARGE OF THE TAMPA OFFICE FOR THE FIRM AND HIS PRIMARY PRACTICE IS FLORIDA SALES AND USE TAX CONTROVERSY & CRIMINAL DEFENSE. MR. SUTTON WORKED FOR THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEPARTMENT OF A BIG FIVE ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND HAS BEEN AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF LAW AT STETSON UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW SINCE 2002 TEACHING STATE AND LOCAL TAX, ACCOUNTING FOR LAWYERS, AND FEDERAL INCOME TAX I. YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MR. SUTTON IN HIS FIRM BIO.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

WHAT SERVICES ARE SUBJECT TO SALES TAX IN FLORIDA?, May 1, 2012, by James Sutton, CPA, Esq.

TAMPA JEWELRY STORE MANAGER ARRESTED FOR SALES TAX THEFT, August 30, 2012, by James Sutton, CPA, Esq.

MIAMI AUTO REPAIR SHOP OWNER ARRESTED FOR SALES TAX, August 25, 2012, by Jerry Donnini, Esq.

FT. MYERS BUINESS OWNER ARRESTED FOR FAILING TO REMIT ONLY $8,000 IN SALES TAX COLLECTED, August 11, 2012, by James Sutton, CPA, Esq.

FL DOR'S GREATEST WEAPON – REVOCATION OF DEALER'S SALES TAX CERTIFICATE, August 6, 2012, by Jerry Donnini, Esq.

CRIPPLING PENALTIES UNDER FLORIDA SALES AND USE TAX LAW, July 19, 2012, by James Sutton, CPA, Esq.

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