Owner of J & R Auto Body gets jail time for not paying sales tax

The owner of J & R Auto Body in Lynnwood has been sentenced to three months in jail for not paying sales tax.

30-year-old José R. Guevara pleaded guilty to altering another business’s reseller permit so he could buy parts without paying sales tax. He was charged with a gross misdemeanor.

This is the first prosecution of a business owner since reseller permits were introduced in January. They were created to curb abuse that had been costing state and local governments an estimated $100 million a year in lost sales tax.

“Sales tax is a vital source of income for state and local governments,” said Department of Revenue Director Cindi Holmstrom. “We need to ensure that all businesses play by the rules and don’t enjoy a competitive advantage over others by avoiding taxes they should be paying.””

The reseller permit system is supposed to make it more difficult for businesses to buy items tax-free for their own use rather than reselling them and collecting sales tax as intended.

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