The Missouri Department of Revenue says its tax collection efforts from businesses and individuals owing back taxes has increased revenues statewide. The department also is tasked with investigating those who don't pay.
“One of the main duties of the Missouri Department of Revenue is to enforce the state’s tax laws,” Alana Barragán-Scott, department director, said in a news release. “Not to do so would be unfair to the vast majority of people and businesses that comply with the law.”
Sales and use taxes collected by the department statewide have been about $35.1 billion so far this year, according to a a downloaded public report
. Comparatively, the 2009 complete total was $72.5 billion.
Those who don't pay can be subject to penalties. In the release, the Department of Revenue pointed to examples of criminal cases pursued by its Criminal Investigation Bureau, including one from Springfield.
Orlando Gallegos, doing business at the restaurant Costa Mesa, 4249 W. Chestnut Expressway, pleaded guilty Nov. 5 in Greene County Circuit Court to one felony count of failure to file employee withholding tax returns, one felony count of failure to pay withholding tax, one felony count of failure to file a sales tax return and one felony count of failure to remit sales tax. Gallegos was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay restitution costs of $131,631 to the Department of Revenue, the release said.
“It’s crucial to remember that the Department of Revenue strives to work with businesses and individuals that owe back taxes,” Barragán-Scott said in the release. “We send several notices before beginning our more extraordinary collection efforts, and we also allow most delinquent taxpayers the option of a payment plan to catch up on their back taxes.
"We encourage delinquent taxpayers to contact us for assistance.”
Another recent effort by the Department of Revenue has made failure to pay taxes a more public affair. Businesses failing to remit sales tax collected from customers are placed on the department's Web site Who Is Not Paying?
, a searchable database of statewide offenders.