Being charged Federal and State Sales Taxes for a business I have not been an owner of since 2003.

Asked about 2 years ago - Waterford, MI

I was a part owner of a retail business (store) from 2002 to 2003. I was listed as an officer of the business with IRS and State of Michigan. I sold my share of the business in 2003 and I am pretty sure my accountant at that time filed the paperwork to remove me as an officer. I have not heard anything about this business for 9 years. How I started getting letters from IRS and State of Michigan stating I owe Federal and sales taxes for various years since 2003. I no longer have any paperwork about the sale of the business, and the accountant is no longer in business. I tried calling state and IRS but they say I am listed as an officer of the business and need to pay because the store is not paying their taxes. Not sure what to do at this point.

Additional information

I did find that I was indeed removed as an officer/agent of the business (S-corp) in 2004. However, I am still getting letters, and statements from IRS and State of MI for taxes ranging from 2006 to 2011.
Also, I know for sure I sold my share of the business in 2003 (September i believe), would I still be liable for unpaid 2003 taxes?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. 3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are facing a difficult legal issue, and I strongly advise you to go seek the advice of a licensed Michigan attorney who has been through these battles before.

  2. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First of all, you can check the online records through the State of Michigan to determine who the company reported as the officers. That may not seal the deal for you, but it would be a start. You may end up needing to hire an attorney to defend you, however. The online records can be found, here:

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more
  3. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have no liability after 2003, but may need to provide information to the IRS and the State showing you were not an owner after 2003. The Federal 2004 1120S and State SBT tax returns will show that you were no longer a shareholder. You may have liability for 2003 for the trust fund portions of the payroll taxes (amounts withheld from employees) and for State sales tax liability as a responsible officer.
    Respond promptly so assessments do not become final.

  4. 3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . State taxing authorities and the IRS can get very nasty in matters like this. Get a good local attorney to get out in front of this before the matter gets more complicated - and yes, it can get much more complicated. Sales tax can turn criminal very quickly for very little amounts of money. So this is not the type of thing you want to put you head in the sand over and believe that the authorities will figure it out. You need an attorney that specializes in both IRS and Michigan tax controversy.

Related Topics

Small business taxes

Small business taxes include state and federal income taxes and employment taxes, self-employment taxes, and excise taxes.

Small business sales tax

A sales tax is a tax paid to a local or state government for the sale or lease of goods and services.

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