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West Virginia Outlaws Tax Evasion Software


West Virginia joins Utah and Maine this year in passing legislation to make the use of tax evasion software a criminal offence

West Virginia Senate Bill 411 makes possession of software programs that falsify ". . . the electronic records of electronic cash registers and other point-of-sale systems . . ." a felony.

Such software programs, also known as "zappers," create false sales records, which a retailer can then use to under-report and under-remit sales tax to state and local jurisdictions.

The bill considers possession of tax evasion software "prima facie evidence of an attempt to evade sales tax . . ." and imposes the following penalties on offenders:

  • One to five years in a correctional institution and/or a $10,000 to $100,000 fine.
  • Forfeiture of all profits associated with the software.
  • Seizure of the tax evasion software.

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Avalara Author
Will Frei
Avalara Author Will Frei
Will Frei covers sales tax news including best practices, legislation and sales tax technology. He is the Social Media Manager at Avalara.