Despite deflecting responsibility by showing the bank's and consultant's control of the marinas' operations, the Petitioners were still liable for the tax. By admitting they owned the marinas, were corporate officers, collected tax from sales at the marina, knew that sales tax was not being paid to the Department, were authorized signers on the accounts, and paid other creditors, the officers admitted to all three prongs for establishing liability of a responsible person under Wisconsin law.
The WTAC emphasized that when "a taxpayer collects sales taxes, that money is not his to use. It is to be held in trust until remitted to the state. The taxpayer cannot use that money to keep the business going or for any other noble purpose. Even if paying the taxes over to the Department brings hardship and leaves little hope of paying other creditors, the taxpayer still has no legal alternative." Accordingly, the Petitioners should have paid the sales tax to the Department as required.
The take-away here is that the collection of sales tax creates a fiduciary role for businesses and corporate officers and/or owners of a business to remit any sales tax collected to the appropriate tax jurisdiction.
 Heckel v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Nos. 14-S-099, 14-S-100, 14-S-101, 14-S-102, 14-S-103, and 14-S-104 (WTAC 2016).
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