January 9, 2013 by Julie Montanaro
The owner of one of Tallahassee's most popular used book stores is accused of failing to pay thousands of dollars in sales tax.
The owner of the Paperback Rack was arrested this week and accused of theft of state funds. A Department of Revenue spokeswoman says Lisa Wyartt-Hart failed to pay more than 5-thousand dollars in sales tax dating back to 2010.
Hart called the charges "hurtful." She admits to owing the state money, but says her business has been struggling to stay afloat for the past few years.
"I don't know why they use the word 'stealing.' We are struggling. The last three years have been really, really tough," Wyartt-Hart said.
"If I had it," she said, "it would be paid."
The Paperback Rack has been in business for more than 25 years.
Department of Revenue Release: Leon County Bookstore Owner Arrested
Lisa M. Wyartt-Hart, the owner of the Paperback Rack, a used bookstore located in Tallahassee, Florida, has been arrested on charges that she stole more than $5,000 in sales tax she collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.
Ms. Wyartt-Hart, 45, who also lives in Tallahassee, was arrested by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office January 8, 2013 on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to theft of state funds, failure to file six consecutive return and refusal to file and pay taxes due. If convicted, she faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible payment of penalty and investigative costs. Paperback Rack is located at 1005 N. Monroe Street in Tallahassee.
According to Revenue Department investigators, Ms. Wyartt-Hart collected tax from customers at her bookstore. However, during various periods beginning in 2010, lasting through periods in 2012, she failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that were collected or file tax returns as required by law.
“It is an honor to serve the vast majority of Florida businesses who comply with State tax requirements,” said Marshall Stranburg, Interim Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue. “For those that don’t, it is our job to enforce the law and ensure honest businesses are not placed at a competitive disadvantage by those who ignore the law or intentionally collect and steal taxpayer dollars.”
If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue Investigations office in Tallahassee at (850)922-2671.
Note: Due to the confidential nature of taxpayer records, generally the information found in this release is the only information available from the Department of Revenue concerning this matter. Other information may be available through the arresting agency and the local Clerk of Court.