ST. PAUL, MINN. (Valley News Live) – The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced today, February, 17th that the Otter Tail County Attorney’s Office recently charged both Margaret F. Haviland and Terry Allen Haviland, of Battle Lake, with multiple felony tax crimes.
According to the complaints, the Havilands failed to file income tax returns or pay income tax for the years of 2017 through 2021. Upon further investigation into Ms. Haviland’s business, Granny’s Pantry, the complaints allege that she failed to file sales and use tax returns for multiple periods from May 2017 through May 2022 and failed to pay sales tax for multiple periods from July 2017 through May 2022.
Ms. Haviland told investigators that she was aware of the missing and unpaid returns and confirmed that they collected sales tax from customers but used the money for business needs instead of sending it to the state. The Havilands allegedly owe more than $174,000 in individual income and sales taxes.
The charges for both Margaret Haviland and Terry Allen Haviland are five counts of failing to to file individual income tax returns and five felony counts of failing to pay individual income tax. Ms. Haviland is also charged with 29 felony counts of failing to file sales and use tax returns and 31 felony counts of failing to pay and remit sales and use tax.
Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Although most taxpayers comply with tax laws voluntarily, the department takes enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers to ensure that tax laws are administered fairly.
Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from public tips. There is a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects that a person or business is violating Minnesota tax laws. Local callers may dial 651-297-5195 or call toll-free by dialing 1-800-657-3500. Tips can also be submitted to the department by email at [email protected]. Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous.
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