Department of Revenue’s Collection Efforts Crack Down on Tax Scofflaws
JEFFERSON CITY – Throughout different parts of the state, the Missouri Department of Revenue's tax collection efforts have resulted in increased revenues for the state from businesses and individuals that owe back taxes.
"One of the main duties of the Missouri Department of Revenue is to enforce the state's tax laws," said Alana M. Barragán-Scott, the department's director. "Not to do so would be unfair to the vast majority of people and businesses that comply with the law."
Barragán-Scott also noted the instrumental role that the Department's Criminal Investigation Bureau plays in enforcing Missouri's tax laws. The bureau's investigators do much of the initial legwork on delinquent tax cases and also work with local law enforcement agencies to make sure that the state's tax laws are properly enforced. County prosecutors also make immense contributions by obtaining criminal pleas and orders of restitution.
One recent case was that of Orlando Gallegos, doing business as Costa Mesa, at 4249 W. Chestnut Expressway in Springfield, MO, who pled guilty on Nov. 5 in Greene County Circuit Court to several tax-related offenses. Gallegos pled guilty to one felony count of failure to file employee withholding tax returns, one felony count of failure to remit (or pay) withholding tax, one felony count of failure to file a sales tax return, and one felony count of failure to remit sales tax. Gallegos was sentenced to five years of probation, and ordered to make restitution of $131,631 to the Department of Revenue.
Another case involved the owner of the Mr. Steak restaurant at 2731 Veterans Memorial Parkway in St. Charles, MO, Blake E. Kruse, who pled guilty on Oct. 25 to two felony counts of failure to pay sales taxes and two felony counts of failure to pay employee withholding income taxes. Kruse, of O’Fallon, MO, pled guilty in St. Charles County Circuit Court. The court ordered Kruse to pay $56,332 in restitution, and he also was placed on five years of supervised probation.
The Department of Revenue has also taken various enforcement actions against PC Rentals of Kirksville, MO. During the past year, the Department’s Collections staff filed tax liens totaling more than $51,800 in back taxes, interest and penalties against the business. To help recoup some of that money, on Nov. 4 the Adair County Sheriff’s Office executed a “writ of execution” authorized by the Adair County Circuit Court. The writ gave the Sheriff’s Office the authority to collect revenue directly from the daily receipts of the business’ affiliate, the Washington Street Java Co. The Sheriff’s Office also served three garnishment orders on PC Rentals’ accounts at Alliant Bank of Kirksville. PC Rentals’ state sales tax business license, under the name of Collins Rentals, was also revoked by the state on April 2.
"It's crucial to remember that the Department of Revenue strives to work with businesses and individuals that owe back taxes," Barragán-Scott said. "We send several notices before beginning our more extraordinary collection efforts, and we also allow most delinquent taxpayers the option of a payment plan to catch up on their back taxes. We encourage delinquent taxpayers to contact us for assistance."