As one might expect, the state tends to take tax evasion pretty seriously. In August six gas station owners were indicted of sales tax evasion by the Attorney General of Illinois. This was part of a long ongoing probe of gas stations and tax compliance in Illinois which has already recovered $13 million from 66 gas station owners.
Similar probes and indictments over gas station sales tax audits have occurred in several other states, including New York, Ohio and Texas.
Sales tax can be complicated in Illinois, especially in Chicago which has the highest sales tax in the country. Sales tax is actually a combination of several taxes such as state, local, mass transit, water commission, home rule occupation and use, non-home rule occupation and use, park district, and county public safety taxes, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.
Businesses are required to collect sales tax and remit the required amounts to the appropriate state and local authorities. Failure to do so is sales tax evasion, which can carry steep penalties. The six men indicted in August could face prison sentences of 2-5 years for each count of sales tax evasion.
For more information on sales tax audits and other criminal tax concerns, contact the Illinois tax attorneys at Horowitz & Weinstein.