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Back taxes pose political problem for state lawmaker

It is an unfortunate reality in life that when you run for elected office, your life becomes more public as a result. Most of the time this does not pose an issue for Minnesota lawmakers who find it possible to exist largely out of the media spotlight.

Occasionally however, the spotlight falls upon something that the state senator or representative wishes to remain private. That may be the case for a state lawmaker who it appears owes Minnesota and federal taxes for his office furniture business that went out of business.

The state lawmaker from Mayer stated that he is in negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service and the Minnesota Department of Revenue. He apparently has worked out a payment plan with the state is still in the process of working something out with the IRS.

The amount owed is reportedly less than $144,000. It apparently includes $14,686 for employee withholding taxes that are owed. Three personal tax liens have reportedly been levied against the Minnesota lawmaker for the business tax debts.

According to the lawmaker, his business suffered during the economic slowdown. A small business loan of $500,000 in 2009 was not enough to save the struggling office furniture business which closed in 2011.

For those who owe state or federal taxes, the good news is that the government will typically work with a company or individual that owes taxes. An offer in compromise is one such method of arranging to pay a lesser amount than the taxes plus interest and penalty total amount.

For those who owe back taxes, it may be wise to work with a legal and tax professional who can negotiate with the IRS or the state on your behalf.

Source: Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, "State lawmaker Leidiger owes taxes on failed business," Ed Stych, Sept. 18, 2012

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