They owe a total of more than $15-million in back taxes.
Annapolis, Md (KM) A list of the top tax evaders in the state of Maryland have been published. The 25 individuals and 25 businesses can be found on the State Comptroller’s website. (www.marylandtaxes.com). They owe the state a total of $15.7-million.
“These are people who are very recalcitrant and for years, have just thumbed their nose at us and said ‘we’re not going to deal with you,'” says Comptroller Peter Franchot. “‘We understand that we owe you taxes but we’re not going to work with you on getting those taxes resolved, even though we have the resources and can pay the money back. We’re just going to tell you go jump in the lake.'”
Franchot says posting these names on the Comptroller’s website is a way to shame these individuals and businesses to pay up. “Let people know these folks are cheating the state because they can pay us. They have resources. They just refuse to do so,” he says.
The program, called “Caught in the Web,” was first launched in 2000. “Every year we do it, we’ve collected from it $43.3-million. So, we’re expecting to get at least half of the $15.7-million that these 25 businesses and 25 individuals owe us,” he said.
None of the businesses and individuals listed on the Comptroller’s website are from Frederick County.
Some of the actions the Comptroller’s Office can take for those who are behind on their taxes include filing a lien, garnishing wages, preventing the renewal of business, professional or occupational licenses, and intercepting federal and state tax refunds.
Franchot points out that the list does not contain individuals who are down on their luck, and are having difficulty paying their taxes. “I am not the IRS. I’m on the citizens’ side. If you have any kind of legitimate reason why you’re behind in your taxes, we’re going to put you on a generous payment plan and we’re going let you make things right. But we’re not going to harass you,” he says.
By Kevin McManus