Yes, we know you love your pet as a family member. And yes, we know your animal is the smartest furry creature in the word.
That, however, is what a Colorado couple tried. Now they're paying the price.
Cat and dog years of tax evasion: Two years ago, Mathew and Sandra Zuckerman of Woody Creek, Colo., were indicted for a variety of alleged schemes to defraud the Internal Revenue Service.
Earlier this year, the couple entered guilty pleas in connection with some of the federal tax charges.
Mr. Zuckerman, 70, acknowledged to a U.S. District Court judge in February that he committed one count of income tax evasion. Mrs. Zuckerman, 67, pleaded guilty three months later to three counts of willful failure to pay income taxes.
Pets on board: The pet ploy, according to the Justice Department, took place in 1999.
That year, say federal investigators, the Zuckermans sought to avoid IRS liens by transferring the deed to their $1.2 million Rocky Mountain residence to Hyperpanel University, Inc., a Nevada corporation.
A cat and dog were among the officers and directors listed as running Hyperpanel in documents filed with the Secretary of State, according to the DoJ.
This week, the Zuckermans found out what their animal tax antics will cost them.
Zuckerman was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay the IRS $693,706 in income taxes. His wife was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $112,511.
There's no word as to whether pets will be granted prison visitation rights.
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