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$478K recovered from tax fraudsters lying about the purchase price of vehicles

$478K recovered from tax fraudsters lying about the purchase price of vehicles

(KUTV) Every car on the road was, at some point, bought and sold. The sale went through for a specific price, but a Get Gephardt investigation finds the price paid is frequently not the price reported.

Charlie Roberts with the Utah State Tax Commission says that when people fill out the form to register their newly-purchased vehicles, some lie about the purchase price. By claiming they bought the car for a lot less than they actually did, they pay a lot less sales tax.

It’s textbook tax fraud, which Roberts says should make everybody mad.

"If you're paying your fair share and somebody else isn't, that just isn't fair. It's really no different than cheating on your income tax," he said.

State investigators say the fraud tends to be most common when one person is selling to another, say, through an online classified ad. The problem is less frequent with sales that take place at a car dealerships.

Public records show the state motor vehicle enforcement police have busted more than 300 tax-fraudsters in the past few months, recovering $478,000.

"People think they can get away with it," Roberts says. “They can try."

Try and lose, and it means the fraudster is not just paying back the tax owed, they're forced to paying double the sales-tax plus fees. Trying to save a few bucks could cost you a heck of a lot more down the road.

It's a fraud that, Roberts says, is high on his commission’s crack-down list.

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