UPDATE: Skagit County business pleads guilty to first degree theft

Business owner pays withheld taxes; charges dropped

UPDATE – April 9, 2018 – Today, the Department of Revenue was notified that in late March, the business owner paid the $9,816 in sales tax withheld by Main Street Group. The charges and bench warrant issued against the business owner were withdrawn.

OLYMPIA, WASH. – April 3, 2018 – A Skagit County business has pled guilty to criminal tax theft charges filed by the Washington Attorney General on behalf of the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Main Street Group of Anacortes, is accused of withholding more than $80,000 in collected sales tax between August 2009 and March 2012. The business faces criminal charges for $9,816 or about 12 percent of the total unpaid taxes.

Revenue conducted an audit of Main Street Group after receiving an anonymous fraud referral through the department’s website. The audit discovered that Main Street Group collected $9,816 in sales tax on a customer account, but the company did not remit the tax to DOR.

The owner of Main Street Group, John Paul Cox, was arraigned on Jan. 5. Mr. Cox did not show up for his latest court hearing. The judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest. The company faces a $10,000 fine.

Main Street Group also faces civil action for the remaining $73,966 of withheld sales tax.

Collecting but not remitting sales tax is illegal under Washington state law. Businesses that sell retail goods and personal property in Washington are required to collect sales tax and return it to the state.

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

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 counted on by Washington residents.

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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.