Filing false federal income tax claims for the 2008 tax year still is haunting Philip Butcher of Rogers.
Butcher, 54, recently entered a consent judgment with the Internal Revenue Service and agreed to pay $800,000, most of which was tied to receiving a tax refund of nearly $675,000 a decade ago that he shouldn’t have received. Butcher is a son of the late Perry Butcher, a northwest Arkansas architect who several years ago owned and operated Blue Skies Charters of Rogers.
Philip Butcher’s fraudulent refund claim was based on what was known as the Form 1099 Original Issue Discount tax scheme, according to the government’s complaint, filed in November in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville. On Butcher’s 2008 federal income tax return, he falsely claimed that he received nearly $1 million taxable bond interest from several banks and had a federal income tax liability of $300,000.
“He also falsely claimed that the purported payers withheld $980,665 as federal income tax payments,” the complaint said. “Based on these fabricated amounts, Butcher claimed that he was entitled to a $672,781 refund,” which the IRS paid.
In April 2009, Butcher filed an amended federal income tax return for 2008 and said he was entitled to a further $1.5 million refund based on additional false withholdings. But the IRS didn’t pay him that money.
Butcher eventually was indicted on two charges of presenting a false, fictitious or fraudulent claim to the United States. He pleaded guilty in January 2012 to one count and was sentenced to four months in federal prison and ordered to pay nearly $545,000 in restitution. In the civil suit with the IRS, the government said Butcher owed about $800,000 for the 2008 tax year with penalties and interest.
In his one-page filing to the court, Butcher didn’t dispute the allegations.
“I would also like the Court to know that I have attempted to resolve this many times since my release in June 2013,” Butcher wrote March 1.
He also apologized if his answer wasn’t correctly composed.
“I have been unable to retain an attorney and am attempting to complete this myself,” he wrote.