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Louisiana Criminalizes Tax Evasion Software

  • Jun 19, 2012 | Will Frei

Louisiana outlawed sales suppression software used for tax evasion.

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:

*Search for SB 616 to view date. SB 616 is the bill number for Act No. 839.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
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.