Taking Some Bites Out of Tax Crime

Many cities have cuisines that they are noted for. New Orleans is famous for the excellent Cajun food. I think of seafood and lobster with Boston. And cheesesteaks–a mixture of chopped steak with grilled onions and cheese on a roll–goes with Philadelphia. One cheesesteak restaurant allegedly had a unique (and illegal) way of making a profit.

Tony Luke’s is one of the 21 best cheesesteak restaurants per Eater of Philadelphia. Its flagship location is in South Philly, near the stadiums. But that’s not why I’m writing this post. Instead, let’s look at some not-so-good ideas on ways of improving profitability.

First, we can deposit just some of the daily receipts into the bank account and use the other cash for paying employees off the books and using the money for personal expenses. Second, paying our employees off the books saves on payroll taxes. Third, when you think the scheme may be caught we’ll amend the prior tax returns to correct the income but we’ll add phony expenses to keep the profitability low. Sure, these methods are illegal but no one will know.

And that’s what the owners of Tony Luke allegedly did. And we’re talking millions of dollars of income ($8 million was allegedly hid from the IRS), and a long-running scheme that ran for 11 years. As I’ve mentioned in the past, if you want to head to ClubFed one of the easiest methods is to deliberately defraud the US on payroll taxes. It appears that’s what happened hear, along with major tax evasion. If the owners are found guilty, they’re looking at plenty of time to reconsider their actions.

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