Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Provo businessman charged with felony tax evasion

October 14, 2009

The Utah State Tax Commission filed six felony charges against a Provo businessman who operates Harris Hearing Aids.

Robert E. Harris, 76, was charged Oct. 13 with six felony counts including tax evasion, a second degree felony and failure to file a tax return, third degree felony. He will make his first appearance in 3rd District Court on Oct. 21.

A Tax Commission criminal investigation determined that Harris received approximately $5 million in income between 2003 and 2007, but has refused to file income tax returns and pay income taxes at least since 1996.

As a result, Harris owes the State of Utah approximately $700,000 including taxes, criminal penalty, and interest.

“It is unfortunate when there are individuals who refuse to pay their fair share and cause honest taxpayers to become over-burdened,” said Charlie Roberts, spokesman for the Tax Commission. “All income tax monies go directly to benefit students in Utah public schools, colleges and universities.”

The investigation was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Tax Commission and will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s office.

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