I am sorry to hear this; especially after being so generous.
A court may enforce both oral and written contracts;
so if a person agreed to pay the income tax due on income that was given as a gift, that portion of the arrangement would be a valid contract, as there would be an offer, acceptance, and consideration. As such, the court has authority to issue a judgment for the amount owing (income tax) plus court costs.
Small claims is appropriate for cases under $10,000
please see here:
Once a judgment is rendered, the judgment creditor can collect by garnishing wages or levying assets.
Often times a demand letter -requesting payment - will suffice, because the defendant would be concerned that the judgment would be damaging to one's credit report.
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.