Sales Tax and Synthetic Marijuana
As more and more Counties adopt ordinances targeted at stopping the sale of Synthetic drugs, and as more and more legislators jump on the band wagon, you can expect to see law enforcement take a different approach. The small mini markets, head shops and convenience stores may see themselves subjected to sales tax audits or examinations. The sale of synthetic marijuana (like spice) and bath salts are generally in cash under the counter. The store owners in all likelihood are not paying sales tax on these types of sales. The Florida Department of Revenue can track sales of alcohol and tobacco by tracing purchases. That is quite another problem when they are dealing with the sale of substances that are questionable and generally purchased in cash. There is also yet another problem. If money is being made under the table and not reported, it is possible for the Internal Revenue to target those selling the synthetic weed for an IRS criminal investigation. As a former Federal Agent and former Federal Prosecutor, I can tell you that there are many ways to skin a cat. Al Capone, the famous gangster went to prison on tax evasion charges, not the various racketeering crimes. A criminal tax investigation is a back door way for law enforcement to accomplish their goals.
If you get a letter that you are being examined for Sales Tax or worse yet, get a notice from the IRS that you are targeted for audit or even worse yet the subject of an Internal Revenue Criminal investigation call a tax attorney immediately. Do not simply turn over your records and expect to talk yourself out of trouble. You can be prosecuted for sales tax evasion or income tax evasion and both are felonies. If you are convicted and if you are not a United States citizen, you can be deported. Do not take lightly a notice that you are under audit or under investigation. I have defended tax evasion cases for thirty years in the Federal Courts here in Florida in Tampa, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach. Do not get lulled into a false sense of security and think the investigation will simply go away.