King County business charged with tax theft

OLYMPIA, WASH. – Jan. 18, 2018 – The Department of Revenue filed charges against a King County home builder that allegedly stole more than $300,000 in retail sales tax intended to fund public services.

Michael McKelvey Company of Seattle is accused of withholding more than of $320,000 in collected retail sales tax between 2010 and 2016.

The charges were filed on Dec. 18 with the King County Superior Court by the state Attorney General’s office on behalf of Revenue. As part of a plea deal, the company has agreed to enter a corporate plea of guilty to first degree theft.

If convicted, the company faces a $10,000 fine.

The withholdings were discovered during a routine audit of the business by Revenue in 2014. The audit revealed the company filed false tax returns for 2013 and 2014 to avoid discovery of the theft.

Since the audit, the company has repaid the owed taxes, including penalties and interest.

Michael McKelvey Company has been registered in Washington as a Limited Liability Company since Jan. 1, 2010.

Collecting but not remitting sales tax and the filing of false tax returns are illegal under Washington state law. Businesses engaged in the sales of retail goods and personal property in Washington are required to collect state sales tax from customers and hold it in trust until it is returned to the state.

Retail sales tax is the largest source of state revenues, supporting vital services that benefit Washington’s residents and the economy.

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The Department of Revenue is Washington state’s primary tax agency, nationally recognized for innovation and quality customer service. Revenue administers nearly 60 categories of taxes that help fund education, social services, health care, corrections, public safety, natural resource conservation and other important services Washington residents count on.