For a number of years, our client had operated a nightclub in central Texas. As happens to a lot of nightclubs, eventually the bar stopped being profitable and the corporation closed the nightclub. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts then conducted an audit of the nightclub’s sales for the 4 years before the nightclub was closed, and determined that the corporation owed more than $160,000 in unpaid state taxes, penalties, and interest.
Because the nightclub was closed, the Texas Comptroller began attempting to collect the amount owed by the corporation directly from its owner and President. That’s when Jansen Law Firm was hired. Eventually, the Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the individual, claiming that he was personally liable for the unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest of the corporation and nightclub. After about a year of fighting on behalf of our client, Jeff Jansen and the Jansen Law Firm were able to convince the State of Texas that, under the applicable law and facts of this case, there was no basis to impose personal liability against the owner-President of the corporation. Therefore, the State of Texas dismissed the lawsuit, zeroed out the liability assessment, and released the tax liens it had previously filed against the individual.
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED: (1) Just because the State of Texas, the Texas Comptroller, or the Texas Attorney General asserts that an individual is personally liable for the tax debts of another person or entity, the facts may actually show that the State is wrong and the individual is not personally liable. (2) If a person receives a Notification of Individual Tax Liability or a Jeopardy Determination from the Texas Comptroller, it is very important to not ignore those notices and to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to determine one’s legal options.
Please understand that all of these cases are different and depend on the facts involved. Many times, a person can properly be held personally responsible for unpaid tax debts of another person or entity depending on what events have already taken place. But the only way to really know for sure what, if any, legal options might be available is to consult with a qualified attorney. Ignoring the issue will never make the problem go away. Do not hesitate to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (713) 388-6150 if you would like to discuss your particular situation. We represent taxpayers throughout the State of Texas who may be having issues dealing with the Texas Comptroller or Texas Attorney General.