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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118780
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I have a serious issue. I was a manager at a small

Customer Question

Hello -
I have a serious issue. I was a manager at a small resort property in MS back in 2008. When the owner and bookkeeper were out of town, I was tasked to sign payroll for the week. The owner, a development company, then went bankrupt before paying employment taxes totaling over $30K. Given I signed payroll that ONE week and evidently the IRS couldn't find the two officers of the company, I was hit with this tax bill. I contacted one of the officers and he agreed to pay off the taxes which now were in the form of a federal tax lien on MY credit report. The owner I found has now failed to respond to my emails since agreeing to pay these taxes attached to my SSN. He has since bought a new home in Orlando worth $460K. I'm unemployed now with no credit. Can you help? Can I sue him for the amount? I have proof that he agreed to pay these taxes. He's moving on with his life and I can't even rent an apartment because of HIS lien on my credit. I was never an owner or an officer of his company.
Thank for your time.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Are you simply seeking information or are you seeking representation (as we are forbidden by law from representing anyone from this site)?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Correct - I'm looking for advice at this point. I was wondering if I could sue this owner for the delinquent taxes and the hardship this has caused. I can't even rent an apartment on my own with this lien on my report. I'm 50 years old and feel pretty beat up by this. It really upset me when he knew he agreed to pay this off and since, (last month), purchased a new home in Orlando. I found that out by contacting a mutual friend. I then verified it by looking at the public record.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, you can sue the owner for breach of contract (since you had a contractual relationship, even though it may not have been written, as an employee-employer) and the employer had a duty to pay the taxes and you ended up being found liable to pay what the employer had the duty under law to pay.
The fact that the owner could not be found would be your reason for your delay in suing him for this, since even the IRS could not find him.
At this point you need to really consider using a local attorney in FL and most times they will agree on a case like this to take a percentage of the reimbursement and settlement or judgment they get for you in the case, especially if this person has assets and property to satisfy the judgment against them.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Is there a statue of limitations on this? Is it fair and within my right to ask for punitive damages?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If you can prove this was fraud and not just breach of contract the court could choose to award punitive damages.
The statute of limitations in FL was 4 years from date of the breach, which is the date the IRS made you pay or made you liable by filing the lien (but you can seek toll that statute if you can prove he was out of state or avoiding detection).