(a) Fraudulent Return. Any person who with intent to defraud the Commonwealth shall wilfully make, or cause to be made, any return required by this article, which is false, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2000), or undergo imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both.
(b) Other Crimes. Except as otherwise provided by subsection (a) of this section, any person who advertises or holds out or states to the public or to any purchaser or user, directly or indirectly, that the tax or any part thereof imposed by this article will be absorbed by such person, or that it will not be added to the purchase price of the tangible personal property or services described in subclauses (2), (3), (4) and (11) through (18) of clause (k) of section 201 of this article 1 sold or, if added, that the tax or any part thereof will be refunded, other than when such person refunds the purchase price because of such property being returned to the vendor, and any person selling or leasing tangible personal property or said services the sale or use of which by the purchaser is subject to tax hereunder, who shall wilfully fail to collect the tax from the purchaser and timely remit the same to the department, and any person who shall wilfully fail or neglect to timely file any return or report required by this article or any taxpayer who shall refuse to timely pay any tax, penalty or interest imposed or provided for by this article, or who shall wilfully fail to preserve his books, papers and records as directed by the department, or any person who shall refuse to permit the department or any of its authorized agents to examine his books, records or papers, or who shall knowingly make any incomplete, false or fraudulent return or report, or who shall do, or attempt to do, anything whatever to prevent the full disclosure of the amount or character of taxable sales purchases or use made by himself or any other person, or shall provide any person with a false statement as to the payment of tax with respect to particular tangible personal property or said services, or shall make, utter or issue a false or fraudulent exemption certificate, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1000) and costs of prosecution, or undergo imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both: Provided, however, That any person maintaining a place of business outside this Commonwealth may absorb the tax with respect to taxable sales made in the normal course of business to customers present at such place of business without being subject to the above penalty and fines: and Provided further, That advertising tax-included prices shall be permissible, if the prepaid services are sold by the service provider, for prepaid telecommunications services not evidenced by the transfer of tangible personal property or for prepaid mobile telecommunications services.
(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, any person who purchases, installs or uses in this Commonwealth an automated sales suppression device or zapper or phantomware with the intent to defeat or evade the determination of an amount due under this part commits a misdemeanor.
(i) Any person who, for commercial gain, sells, purchases, installs, transfers or possesses in this Commonwealth an automated sales suppression device or zapper or phantomware with the knowledge that the sole purpose of the device is to defeat or evade the determination of an amount due under this part commits an offense which shall be punishable by a fine specified under subparagraph (ii) or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. A person who uses an automated sales suppression device or zapper or phantomware shall be liable for all taxes, interest and penalties due as a result of the use of that device.
(ii) If a person is guilty of an offense under this paragraph and the person sold, installed, transferred or possessed not more than three automated sales suppression devices or zappers or phantomware, the person commits an offense punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(iii) If a person commits an offense under this paragraph and the person sold, installed, transferred or possessed more than three automated sales suppression devices or zappers or phantomware, the person commits an offense punishable by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
(2) This subsection shall not apply to a corporation that possesses an automated sales suppression device or zapper or phantomware for the sole purpose of developing hardware or software to combat the evasion of taxes by use of automated sales suppression devices or zappers or phantomware.
(3) For purposes of this subsection:
“Automated sales suppression device” or “zapper” means a software program carried on a memory stick or removable compact disc, accessed through an Internet link or through any other means, that falsifies the electronic records of electronic cash registers and other point-of-sale systems, including, but not limited to, transaction data and transaction reports.
“Electronic cash register” means a device that keeps a register or supporting document through the means of an electronic device or computer system designed to record transaction data for the purpose of computing, compiling or processing retail sales transaction data in whatever manner.
”Phantomware” means a hidden programming option, which is either preinstalled or installed at a later time, embedded in the operating system of an electronic cash register or hardwired into the electronic cash register that can be used to create a virtual second till or may eliminate or manipulate a transaction record that may or may not be preserved in digital formats to represent the true or manipulated record of transactions in the electronic cash register.
“Transaction data” includes information regarding items purchased by a customer, the price for each item, a taxability determination for each item, a segregated tax amount for each of the taxed items, the amount of cash or credit tendered, the net amount returned to the customer in change, the date and time of the purchase, the name, address and identification number of the vendor and the receipt or invoice number of the transaction.
(d) This section shall not preclude prosecution under any other law.
(e) The penalties imposed by this section shall be in addition to any other penalties imposed by any provision of this article.
FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.