Mississippi Is Latest State to Consider Outlawing Tax “Zapper” Software

Lawmakers in Mississippi are tackling the pervasive use of automated sales suppression devices, commonly known as “zappers,” by businesses to hide a portion of their sales and thereby avoid paying sales tax. Zapper programs are used to delete certain transactions – usually cash sales – and then reconcile the books of the business. The result is that the company’s books appear to be complete and accurate, but are in fact false because they reflect fewer sales than were actually made. With fewer sales to report, the business is able to reduce the amount of sales tax it is required to pay. In an article published in the Daily Journal, it was reported that during recent testimony before the Mississippi legislature, Revenue Commissioner Herb Frierson said that the use of zappers is costing the state millions of dollars in lost sales tax revenue. “The zapper has two sets of books. Al Capone (the Chicago gangster who was convicted of tax evasion)…

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