Nashville Business Owner Arrested On Sales Tax Evasion Charges
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Today Tennessee Department of Revenue special agents arrested Gunvantrai H. Patel, 56, on charges of state sales tax evasion in Knoxville, Tenn., where he resides, and transported him to Nashville. Revenue’s Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and today’s subsequent arrest of Patel, former president of Shree Gurudev, Incorporated, doing business as Family Inns of America, located at 3430 Percy Priest Drive in Nashville.
“The Department of Revenue is committed to applying Tennessee’s tax laws and policies uniformly to all taxpayers to ensure a level playing field,” said Revenue Commissioner Loren L. Chumley. “The department cannot and will not allow people engaged in fraudulent tax activities to have a competitive advantage over honest businesspeople.”
On Nov. 2, 2006, Patel was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury on 12 Class E Felony counts of sales tax evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g) for filing false sales tax returns on behalf of the hotel for the period March 1, 2004, through Feb. 28, 2005. The alleged fraud resulted in an amount of unreported taxable sales totaling $152,400.56 and the failure to remit sales tax due totaling $14,004.36.
If convicted, Patel could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000 for each Class E Felony count. Additionally, civil taxes, penalties and interest will be due the state.
These cases are pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with local district attorneys general. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee’s revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).
The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 92 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2005-2006 fiscal year, the department collected $10.3 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, $1.8 billion of local sales tax was collected by the department for local governments during the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to www.Tennessee.gov/revenue.