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Several Missouri donut shops lose sales tax license

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What are some things that go well with donuts? Coffee, milk, hot tea and… a sales tax dispute?

No, taxes are not something that most people associate with donuts. But for one popular chain of donut shops located in Missouri, the two seem to go hand in hand.

The popular donut-and-coffee chain Tim Hortons recently opened several locations throughout the state of Missouri, primarily in the St. Louis region. Show Me Hospitality, the franchise that operates these restaurants, has run into some problems regarding its sales tax license. State records show that the Missouri Department of Revenue revoked the company’s sales tax license nearly six months ago. A representative for Show Me Hospitality confirmed that their attorneys are currently working with the Revenue Department to resolve the issue.

Generally, sales tax licenses are revoked under two conditions: If a business fails to remit the sales tax collected from customers, or if a business fails to remit income taxes that it withheld from employees. When a business’s sales tax license is revoked, it renders its business licenses void. It is a misdemeanor to operate a business without a valid license, and the penalties can include fines of up to $10,000 daily.

The Revenue Department also recently filed a lawsuit against Show Me Hospitality in order to enforce tax liens. The franchise apparently owes the state around $70,000 in back taxes.

In addition to its tax issues, the beleaguered hospitality company has also had to close two of its Tim Hortons locations due to a legal dispute with the franchise’s American branch, Tim Hortons USA. (The donut chain originates in Canada.) Currently there are still three Tim Hortons locations open in the St. Louis area. For the time being, you can still swing by and grab a donut—no tax disputes necessary.

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