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I owe the state of Virgina over $10,000 for unpaid taxes when I owned a restaurant in 2006. How can I get out of this?

Shelby, NC |

I closed my restaurant because I couldn't pay the taxes. I did an offer in compromise with the federal taxes for $0 and they accepted it because I told them why I closed it. But the state would not. Now, after all these years they have a collection agency after me. On the paper it looks like I don't owe taxes, just the penalties. I make $8 an hour and work 32-36 hours per week. How can I possibly pay this $10,000? All I own is a 2002 Nissan truck. Can they garnishee my wages and take my truck? Please advise.

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Attorney answers 1


I would find a tax attorney in the area you live. Most business taxes are "trust fund" taxes which means even if the business shuts down they follow you personally forever. The states are usually less forgiving than the IRS but sometimes they do allow payment terms or payment of less than you owe. If the underlying tax is in fact paid off that is certainly a good thing and that means it won't continue to accrue - and often the penalty portion can be abated for good reasons ("reasonable cause"). You may have some recourse but I would advise consulting an attorney as the return on investment would likely be worth it.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: