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Virginia Bans Sales Tax Suppression Devices


 Virginia is the latest state to criminalize the use of tax zappers. Zap!

It seems a given that devices used to suppress records of sales transactions are less than legal. Tax zappers allow businesses to collect tax on sales transactions, erase the record of those sales, and then pocket the sales tax revenue instead of remitting it to the state. Yet if Virginia business owners had any doubts about the legality of tax zappers, let it be erased. Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) recently signed a law criminalizing automated sales suppression devices in Virginia.

Effective July 1, 2014, it will be a Class 1 misdemeanor “to willfully utilize any device or software to falsify the electronic records of cash registers or manipulate transaction records that affect any state or local tax liability.” Anyone caught using tax zappers will face a civil penalty of $20,000. ZAP!

Numerous states have taken steps to criminalize sales suppression devices. Most recently, Kentucky, Connecticut and California have made it officially illegal to use or possess tax zappers. States want businesses to remit the sales tax they collect, not pocket it.

Read Senate Bill 611 in its entirety to learn specifics, or simply switch to an automated sales tax solution and pay the correct amount of sales tax on time, every time. Learn how it works.

photo credit: Nathan Lanier via photopin cc


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.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.