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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117367
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I am being sued by Bexar County of Texas for $3000 in unpaid

Customer Question

I am being sued by Bexar County of Texas for $3000 in unpaid business property taxes from 2015.
I had no business in 2015. I closed December 2014.
But I did still have business property as if January 1, 2015. The taxing authority says that I owe for the entire year because of my January 1 ownership. Revenue makes no difference.
I am wondering how I can prevent the County from attaching me personally for this debt. The business was an LLC and I did have a Canadian partner.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Scholar of Tax replied 11 months ago.

Dear Customer,

The hearing you missed was held by and with Appraisal's Office. Tel:(###) ###-####

The lawsuit you are facing is brought forth by the attorney of the County tax collection department. Contact the attorney who notified you of the lawsuit first to find out what the lawsuit is about. Do not miss any court dates and appear in court. That is where you can continue the fight and continue to appeal. Once it is a court order, you cannot reverse if you miss the court appearance. Consult with an attorney locally who usually deal with the matter there.

In the meantime, call the appraisal's office again to see whether any remedies you can still have.

A county representative cannot make false statement to us. So, you can also contact the County Tax Collector's office, simply ask again whether there is any way for you to prevent the County to attaching your personal property to the debt. In general, the County will continue to collect using all methods they can and have power. You may want to inquire about installment payment plan possibility.

Most business contacts and dealings of LLCs require the owners and members personal guarantee. In general, therefore, LLC does not protect owner's liability in debt. Your county has its way to collect for business personal property. Closing the business itself does not void the tax. Collection has many method.

Your basic and most important issue that it is in Court now. That is where your battle is. You have to fight there. That is where the County is trying get a judgment against you personally. If you want to avoid anything, that is where you need to go to fight them. Consult with a local attorney in the meantime.


Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is there a way through Just Answers to get advice from an attorney familiar with my county? I am already aware of what you have advised. I need more relevant local detail. I did sign a personal guarantee on my lease agreement for the space. But I am not aware that has any relevance to the property contained within the space. There is also the issue that they are claiming I owe for 2015 even though I was not in business during 2015 and the property was liquidated entirely by late January 2015.You're telling me I have to hire an attorney to get a more detailed understanding of this will become a personal liability.
Expert:  Scholar of Tax replied 11 months ago.

Dear Customer,

1) It is verified with the County that the business personal property is owed even if the LLC existed or in business only for one month. If you have more information and want to fight that, you have to fight in court. These could be your points and shortfalls.

"I was not in business during 2015"

"I had no business in 2015. I closed December 2014.

But I did still have business property as if January 1, 2015."

So, it seems that you are aware of the fact that you personally guaranteed for the tax. Therefore, you are aware that properties belonging to you will be attached to this 3,000 liabilities.

You have to fight in court now. Nothing is definite until the court's order.

I will opt out at this point for other experts to follow up to see whether you can find an attorney in your county through Just Answer.



Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months 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.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR and an Attorney, but Texas law forbids any attorney on this site from providing representation to any customer and that includes legal advice. We provide information only for educational purposes to customers. Your previous contributor is correct though, you are going to have no option but either pay or get a local attorney to file an appeal to vacate the assessment against you in the local court and none of the attorneys from this site can do that for you. I am sorry for any misunderstanding you had regarding that.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I knew you could not represent me, I just wanted the various options laid out for how this business tax debt 1. Could be attached to our personal assets, and 2. Might be vacated entirely due to short time in 2015 we owned dwindling assets.I'll have to negotiate with law firm
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Also, our business was 100% funded by a Canadian. How can it be construed that we own the property personally? We were the sweat equity partners.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I am afraid that even if your business was funded in Canada, you are still personally liable for those taxes (one of the only personal liabilities they can put on owners) The delinquent taxes that are not paid by a business are government debt and follow to the owners of the business jointly and severally, so they can come after you personally as a government debt. The old saying that the two things you cannot escape are death and taxes is really true.
The Texas law says you can be assessed even if you operated one day into 2015, so you could negotiate with the assessor to to a settlement or offer in compromise where you offer to pay a percentage (usually at least 50%) and they agree to dismiss the remainder owed. It is either that or you need to get a local attorney and go to court to seek to have it reduced.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Well it's less than $3000, so it's not worth using a lawyer. Unfortunately we have lots of financial challenges left over from the business and if this one can be delayed, it much be. We have a 15 yo child away from home currently and we must support him no matter what. So I will call the law firm and see if they can work with me.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks for the follow up. I was not thrilled with first responder. She was not locally knowledgeable. I know this forum is just for opening guidance and advice. I don't expect detailed legal representation. But I wanted to know up front if there were any "ready and waiting" remedies for me to seek.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Generally, you can try negotiating a settlement offer in compromise on your own without an attorney before you do anything with a law firm.

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