West Virginia Outlaws Tax Evasion Software
- Apr 5, 2012 | Will Frei
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.