Keith Howard Sentenced on Sales Tax EvasionMonday, November 23, 2009 | 02:43 pm
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to the Nov. 20, 2009 sentencing of Keith A. Howard, age 41, on one Class E felony count of Sales Tax Evasion and one Class E felony count of Forgery.
Criminal Court Judge Dee Gay sentenced Howard to six years for the sales tax evasion charge and six years for the forgery charge. The two sentences are to run consecutively for a total of 12 years. Howard was sentenced as a persistent offender; therefore, he will serve a minimum of 45 percent of his sentence. Howard was immediately remanded to the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
In Sept. 2009, a Sumner County jury convicted Howard of filing false and fraudulent documents with the Sumner County Clerk’s Office that intentionally understated the purchase price of a Prevost motor coach he registered. Howard provided false documents to the clerk’s office claiming the purchase price of the motor coach was $62,500.00 when it was actually $625,000.00. This fraudulent act resulted in Howard’s intentional failure to remit $39,375.00 in sales tax to the state of Tennessee. Additional civil taxes, penalties, and interest will be due the state.
“The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity," said Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr. "This investigation underscores our department's ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee's tax laws."
This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General Ray Whitley’s office. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee’s revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).
The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 92 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the department collected $10.2 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, $1.9 billion of local sales tax was collected by the department for local governments during the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to www.TN.gov/revenue.
Related news: Davidson County Man Arrested on Charges of Sales Tax Evasion and Forgery (http://tennessee.gov/revenue/newsreleases/2008/howardarrest.htm).