Thursday, November 15, 2018

Sparta business owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

Posted: Nov. 15, 2018 12:01 am

A Lafayette resident and Sparta tax preparation business owner admitted Tuesday before a U.S. District Court judge that for at least four consecutive years, he did not pay payroll taxes and failed to file his personal income tax return, according to U.S. District Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Thomas Kurczewski, 71, pleaded guilty in front of Judge Esther Salas to one count each of failing to pay payroll taxes and failing to make personal income tax returns. If convicted on both charges, he faces up to six years in prison and fines of up to $350,000.

According to court documents filed in the case, Kurczewski opened up his business "Tom K -- The Tax Consultant" in 1992 and was the sole owner and manager of the tax return preparation business. The business also, at some point, went by the name of "Tom K and Associates -- The Tax Consultants," records state.

The office is located in White Deer Plaza in Sparta, according to the Yellow Pages and the Better Business Bureau.

Between 2011 and 2014, Kurczewski employed two individuals at the office but Carpenito said he failed to pay payroll taxes for them.

The Internal Revenue Service requires an employer to report "employment taxes" on an Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return four times a year.

"Employment taxes" include withholding taxes, or the amount of taxes an employer withholds from their employees for partial payment of income tax, and Federal Insurance Contribution Act, or FICA, taxes. According to the IRS, FICA taxes are withheld from employers' taxes to protect the financial and physical well-being of the nation's senior citizens by helping to fund two federal programs: Social Security and medicare.

Court records indicated Kurczewski failed to file quarterly tax returns a total of seven times between 2011 and 2014, an approximate employment tax liability of $24,000.

Kurczewski also failed to file his own individual tax returns and did not pay federal income taxes for calendar years 2011 through 2015, Carpenito stated.

Carpenito indicated that in failing to pay payroll taxes and personal income taxes, Kurczewski failed to pay the government $338,204

Special agents in the IRS' Criminal Investigation Unit, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur in Newark, assisted in the investigation.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 20.

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