Ephantus Mwangi, a Missouri man and owner of True Payments Solutions Inc. (TPS) based in Kansas, faced his initial court appearance yesterday. The appearance follows an indictment by a federal grand jury in December 2023, charging him with willful failure to pay over-employment taxes to the IRS.
Between 2017 and 2018, Mwangi allegedly withheld federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from TPS employees’ wages but failed to remit these withholdings to the IRS. This failure has reportedly led to a tax loss of approximately $337,350.
If convicted, Mwangi could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each of the six employment tax counts. Additionally, he may be subject to supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. The sentence, determined by a federal district court judge, will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Government’s Stance on Tax Compliance
This case, announced by Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Kate E. Brubacher for the District of Kansas, underscores the government’s rigorous approach toward ensuring tax compliance, especially among small businesses.
The IRS Criminal Investigation unit is actively investigating this case, highlighting the seriousness with which the government views employment tax evasion.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney J. Parker Gochenour of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Huschka for the District of Kansas.
Small Business Deals
It’s important to remember that an indictment is merely an allegation. Mwangi, like all defendants, is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Implications for Small Business Owners
This case serves as a crucial reminder to small business owners about the importance of adhering to employment tax laws. It highlights the potential legal and financial risks associated with non-compliance.
For small business owners, this incident is an educational opportunity to review their tax practices. Ensuring proper withholding and timely payment of employment taxes is not only legally mandatory but also critical for maintaining the financial health and reputation of a business.
As the case progresses, it will likely offer further insights into the enforcement of tax laws and the consequences of evasion. Small business owners should take this opportunity to assess and reinforce their tax compliance measures to avoid similar legal challenges.
The Mwangi case is a stark reminder of the importance of tax compliance in the business sector. While the legal process unfolds, it’s an opportune moment for small business owners to reflect on their tax practices and ensure they are fully compliant with IRS regulations. This approach is essential not only to avoid legal pitfalls but also to contribute to the integrity and stability of the business environment.
Image: Envato Elements