I understand how much love you probably have for your family pet. I have pets too and I can’t imagine a day without their companionship. However, as one couple in Colorado learned, your pets cannot run your business. A Colorado couple was accused of filing their tax returns in their pets’ names. Matthew Zuckerman and Sandra Zuckerman were both sentenced in September of 2014 on income tax related charges. Mr. Zuckerman was sentence to serve 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $693,706 in restitution to the IRS. Mrs. Zuckerman was sentenced to serve 36 months of probation and she was jointly liable for $112,511 of that restitution.
According to the Department of Justice, a cat and dog were named among the officers and directors in documents filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. The Zuckermans were indicted in April 2012, and plead guilty to tax evasion and willful failure to pay income taxes. They filed the fraudulent tax returns then allegedly took the savings on their returns to go on a cruise and have a plastic surgery procedure done.
The morale of the story is – your dogs and your cats cannot be executive directors of your business. You may think they are a genius for being able to play to bring you the morning newspaper, but having them run your company will simply not fly with the IRS.