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emc011075, Tax adviser
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3122
Experience:  IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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Tina. I have a question about back taxes owed to the city of

Customer Question

Hi Tina. I have a question about back taxes owed to the city of Toledo Ohio.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes, the city tax office contacted me earlier this year to say that I owed them ~$2000 in back taxes for 2013/2014 tax years.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I currently live in Michigan. Can the city of Toledo Ohio have my wages garnished in Michigan?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  emc011075 replied 10 months ago.

Hi Josh. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

The cities have very limited powers when it comes to collection. They will keep sending you threatening letters but there's not much they can do. They cannot put a lien on your property, garnish your refunds (state or federal) or your wages. They would need a court order/lawyer to do so and this would could cost them more than what you actually owe. However, if they catch you in their county (a routine traffic stop) you may end up in jail. For instance in Cuyahoga county (Cleveland), if you owe local taxes you will not be able register a car or renew your drivers license.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I do own property in Toledo currently. Would they be able to put a lien on the property?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 10 months ago.

They may or may not, depending on how desperate they are. But I have not seen a city putting a lien on a real property so far and I lived in OH for 10 years (Cleveland/Medina).

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Without warning, they have scheduled a court date for December 1st. I'm going to call the city's lawyer and try to work out a payment plan deal. How good is my negotiating position?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 10 months ago.

Ok. First, is their claim correct? Did you file the city return? Often, if you file the missing returns you will find out that you owe much less than they claim you do.

It looks like Toledo has its own tax department and is not part of CCA (central collection agency) or RITA (Regional tax agency) so they may be opened to negotiation. CCA and RITA is tough to negotiate with.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have no idea if their claim is correct or not. I have not filed a return. Should I do that seeing as they've escalated it to a matter for the courts?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How would I go about filing those taxes?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
To be more specific - how would I go about filing those taxes in such a way as to determine whether their claim is accurate or not?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 10 months ago.

Definitely prepare the return and take it with you. You may not owe anything since Toledo gives you credit for taxes paid to other cities, but you have to claim the credit. If the city calculate your taxes for you, you will not get the credit.

To prepare the missing returns you will need the W2s and you will find the forms here:

But I would suggest to go or call the toledo HRBlock office. You can communicate with them through a virtual office. They usually charge between $15 - 20 for local return.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Okay I know that no city taxes were taken out of my pay, as I was working for a company in Michigan from 2013-2014 and neither they nor I knew that city taxes needed to be taken out.Should I still file a return?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 10 months ago.

Ok. Were you a resident of Toledo while working in Michigan? If taxes were taken out it would show up on your W2, boxes 18, 19 and 20.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
For part of 2013 and none of 2014, but that wasn't reflected on my W2s, as my (then wife) was still living at that address.
Expert:  emc011075 replied 10 months ago.

Ok. If you were not a resident of Toledo while you earned the income, you will file as nonresident (part year resident for 2013) and exclude all income earned while resident of Michigan and you should not be paying tax on that income. Where your wife was living, does not matter.

You will probably need to provide some type of proof that you lived somewhere else; utility bill with your name, rental agreement and such.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I wasn't responsible for paying utilities, but I did write checks for rent+utils, and I believe I can get copies of my rental agreements. Would this be enough to prove that I was living in those places at that time?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I wasn't responsible for paying utilities because I was moving in with people who were already renting there, is what I mean.
Expert:  emc011075 replied 10 months ago.

Yes, it will. If nothing else, even a credit card bill, cellphone or if you have MI address on your W2 would work.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Okay, and if I send these documents to the city's lawyer, I should be able to avoid having to pay much if any taxes, correct? Will I still have to file tax returns?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 10 months ago.

I would sent one with the notice from the city if you received any, if not just file a copy with the lawyers (they are really just court clerks) and bring one to the hearing if it is not solved by then. If you did not live in Toledo in 2014 you should not owe any taxes for that year. For 2013 you will only claim income you earned while residing in Toledo.