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Miami truck tire importer indicted for tax evasion

The Justice Department said the former owners of Road Tire Plus Corp. in South Florida avoided paying federal tax on tire imports.

Imported ruck tires marked for highway use are subject to federal excise taxes. [Photo Credit: Shutterstock]

The U.S. Justice Department on Friday announced that Miami truck tire importers Marco Parra and his wife Eira Luces-Parra were indicted by a federal grand jury in South Florida for tax evasion.

The couple, which owned and operated Road Tire Plus Corp., allegedly conspired with others in the tire industry in South Florida to evade paying federal excise taxes on truck tire sales, the Justice Department said.

According to U.S. law, truck tires marked for highway use are subject to excise taxes. This tax is paid when the importer sells the truck tires to retailers. If the tires are later exported rather than sold domestically, the law allows for a credit on the excise taxes paid.

Between 2013 and 2016, the Parras collected excise taxes from some customers but did not remit those taxes to the IRS and failed to file tax returns reporting the truck tire sales, according to the indictment.  

The Parras allegedly neglected to collect the excise taxes for some truck tire customers altogether. Instead, the couple “obtained from these co-conspirators false bills of lading claiming that the tires were exported so that the Parras could obtain an excise tax credit even though they knew the tires were not exported,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

The Justice Department did not disclose the estimated amount of excise taxes the Parras failed to pay the federal government over the four-year period.

If convicted, the couple face up to five years in jail, as well as additional fines and penalties, the department said.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.