Reporting Resale Tax Fraud in Florida
When you sell a taxable product in Florida, you collect taxes on its sale and hold it in trust for state payment. As the seller, you must report and pay all taxes on the products over to the state, usually on a monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly basis.
However, there have been instances where the seller failed to remit all or part of the tax. The federal-state requires the money to provide essential services for its citizens. This article looks at where you can report sales tax fraud in Florida and the reward that comes with reporting it.
What Is Sales Tax Fraud?
Every business in Florida is legally bound to file a DR-15 sales return every month. Businesses with less than $1000 in sales tax can file their returns quarterly or yearly. Sales tax fraud involves failure to remit or misstating the amount of sales tax. Business owners are required to remit sales tax to the federal government. The Florida Tax Department is serious about tax evasion.
Failure to remit or misstate the amount of sales taxes can attract fines and criminal penalties. You could also face a term not exceeding 25 years in jail. Here are some examples of sales tax fraud:
- Underreporting the sales tax
- Falsifying sales tax records to evade tax payment
- Failure to report gross and exempt sales correctly
- Failure to collect sales tax from the consumers
- Delay or failure to file sales tax
- Failure to remit collected sales tax to the State
Signs that a Business is Evading Sales Tax
If you notice any of the following, then it may be a sign of evading sales tax:
- Closing and starting new businesses now and then
- Poor financial records
- Failure to report all the sales
- Overstating expenses
- Weak financial controls
- Claiming residency in another state
- Falsifying returns
- Failure to file returns
Guidelines to Follow When Reporting Tax Evasion in Florida
When reporting tax fraud, it makes sure you have included all the pertinent information. Here are a few that you should include:
- Provide identifying information such as the name, address of the business
- Indicate where the tax fraud is happening
- Products on sale whose tax is not payable to the federal government
- For how long has the fraud been taking place?
Where to Report Sales Tax Fraud in Florida
The Florida Revenue Authority has a taxing unit where you can report tax violations. Here are the contacts from the department:
|Via Telephone||Within Florida: 800-352-9273
Outside Florida: 850-717-6994
You may choose between regular mail via the US Post or express mail via the overnight mail services.
|Attention: Tax Violations
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0100
Penalties and Fines for Sales Tax Fraud
The federal government investigates sales tax fraud offenses. Various agencies, including the FBI, do the prosecution. Some common federal statutes criminalizing these types of crimes include:
The 26 USC Sec. 7201 states that any person who willingly tries to avoid paying or defeating any tax imposed shall be guilty of a felony and will be fined not more than $ 100,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years. The section also states that such a person may face a fine and a jail term.
Statute 212.15 declares the following for failure to remit sales
- If the amount involved is less than $ 300, that is a misdemeanor of the second degree, attracting up to $10,000 in fines.
- If the amount involved is more than $ 300, but less than $ 20, 000, it amounts to a third-degree felony, and the fine is $5,000
- If the amount involved is more than $ 20 000 but less than $ 100,000, then it's a felony of 1st degree punishable by a fine of $10,000.
- If the number of declared sales is equal to or exceeds $10,000, then it is a felony of 1st degree, and you will pay a fine of $ 10,000.
Tax Report Award
The Florida statutes authorize the rewarding of anyone who provides information leading up to the registration of a non-compliant taxpayer and tax, penalty & interest payments. For eligibility to receive compensation for the tax information, you must:
- Submit DR-55, a compensation for tax information form.
- Include all the vital information.
If you suspect someone has been committing resale tax fraud, the Florida Department of Revenue offers a form for reporting it. It's essential to understand what constitutes sales tax fraud and the steps before reporting a crime. The best way is to learn from the expert tax fraud consultants how to report sales tax fraud effectively. The consultant will guide you on the documentation you need to report the sales tax fraud.