Louisiana Criminalizes Tax Evasion Software
- Jun 19, 2012 | Will Frei
Louisiana Act No. 839 makes it illegal for a person to ". . . knowingly create, design, manufacture, sell, purchase, lease, install, update, repair, service, transfer, use, or possess or otherwise make available any automated sales suppression device, zapper, or phantom-ware."
Automated sales suppression devices, or zappers, are software programs that create false records for electronic cash registers. Phantom-ware refers to ". . . a hidden programming option embedded in the operating system of, or hardwired into, an electronic cash register that can be used to create a virtual second . . . cash register or to eliminate or manipulate transaction records." People use the false records created by zappers and phantom-ware to take "cash off the top" and evade sales tax.
If a person is convicted of using such software in Louisiana, they now face a fine of up to five thousand dollars, and/or imprisonment "with or without hard labor" for up to five years.
Act No. 839 goes into effect August 1, 2012.*
As tax zappers gain notoriety, more states pass laws making them illegal. Read more:
- Michigan Governor Signs Tax Zapper Law
- Connecticut Bill Criminalizes Tax Zappers
- Tennessee: Tax Evasion Software Now a Felony
- West Virginia Outlaws Tax Evasion Software
- Utah Gets Tough on Sales Tax Evasion Software
- Maine Bill to Help Fight Against Tax Evasion
*Search for SB 616 to view date. SB 616 is the bill number for Act No. 839.