Pierce County contractor charged with stealing $156,000 in taxes

Charges were filed today against a Pierce County contractor who allegedly stole more than $156,000 in retail sales taxes he collected from clients but never remitted to the state.

  • Friday, March 11, 2016 3:01pm
  • Sports

Charges were filed today against a Pierce County contractor who allegedly stole more than $156,000 in retail sales taxes he collected from clients but never remitted to the state.

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office filed one charge of first degree theft and eight charges of falsifying tax returns against Kurtis T. Hirning, owner of Kurtisy Construction. The company primarily installs fences in new housing developments.

Hirning faces 10 years in prison and $20,000 in penalties for the theft charge, and up to five years and $10,000 for each incidence of filing a fraudulent tax return.

Washington State Department of Revenue staff discovered the alleged theft during a routine audit of Kurtisy Construction’s books for Jan. 2010 – Sept. 2013. The auditors noted that the business improperly reported more than one-third of sales as wholesale transactions while hiding another $66,000 in retail sales altogether.

By falsely classifying sales as nontaxable and not reporting other retail transactions at all, Hirning and Kurtisy Construction failed to report and remit at least $156,004 to the state.

“State law is clear that retail sales tax dollars do not belong to the business that collects them,” said Revenue Director Vikki Smith. “These tax dollars are expressly intended to support the many public services we count on as residents, not line anyone’s pockets.”

Retail sales tax is the largest source of state revenues, supporting vital services that benefit Washington’s residents and the economy. Businesses that collect retail sales tax must report and turn those over to Revenue. Failure to do so constitutes theft.

More in Sports

Time to register for Street Fair 3-on-3 hoop tournament

The entry fee is $60 per team in the youth/high school divisions and $70 in the men’s, women’s, family and business divisions.

Equestrians take on Oregon’s best

Several Hornets earned their second Pacific Northwest Individual Championship awards.

Townsend drafted by Toronto, now pitching professionally

The former Bonney Lake Panther was drafted after one season at Oral Roberts University, where he managed an impressive average of 11.64 strikeouts per nine innings.

Gretler brothers: One to the Bears, one to the Beavers

The former Panthers are ready to hit the next level of baseball.

Wyatt Hodder same in third in one of this year’s tree climbing competitions. Photo by Ashley Britschgi
Junior Show attracts 142 competitors, here are the winners

Make sure you don’t miss the big event next weekend.

Area prep athletes receive all-league honors

Check out which local athletes were honored this spring season

Three Hornets sign with colleges

Cameron Bogard, Tyler Miller and Mikyla Olsen are ready to play at a new level.

Hornet water polo takes seventh in state

In their final tournament match, Enumclaw beat Bainbridge 7-2.

White River’s Zaugg competes in state tennis

The Hornet player was ousted in the third round.

Enumclaw places fourth at judo championships

Tatiana Molinero-Ceras and Esperanza Aparicio-Gamez took first place medals.

Equestrian team again No. 1 in state

Lindsay Sogge created a new record in barrel racing.

State golf: Franklin third, Hornet girls place seventh

Hornet Georgia Lavinder tied for 27th.