New York Demanding Taxes From Long-Defunct Businesses

March 16, 2010

From the Staten Island Advance:

Genevieve Motola of West Brighton got a kick out of the tax bill from the state that arrived on Saturday.

She’s 82 years old, after all, and it has been a good 20 years since she closed her store, G&P Ceramics Inc.

But the $5,700 tax bill was no joke to her son, Robert Motola, a certified public accountant.[…]

Joseph Schwab was equally surprised when he received a tax bill in the mail last week trying to collect $25,264.60, the sum the state estimated he owed on his former corporation, Schwab Contracting Inc., which was dissolved in 1989.

Schwab, 61, of Westerleigh, said not only was his contracting company shut down in 1989, he lost his fingers in an accident in 1988 and didn’t work at all in ‘88 or ‘89.

“The state’s broke so they’re reaching at straws,” Schwab said. “They’re going by what they see as a corporation being active. It’s all estimated. They’re looking at records, but they’re not looking at the big picture — and they’re lying through their teeth.”

The state Department of Taxation and Finance wouldn’t tell the Advance whether there’s an active campaign to catch up on ancient tax disputes — but it sure seems that way, given that a pair of decades-old tax-bill notices surfaced the same week on Staten Island.

More evidence that states are doing anything they can to get cash in the door right now.

Check out the full article here.


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