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how to turn myself in and settle up

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i own a used bookstore. i have gone bankrupt and become homeless as a result of the store never making a profit in the 4 years i've had it. i am partially disabled which is why i have kept it as some income is better than none and i can live in my office. problem: i haven't paid sales taxes in 3 years nor have i filed income tax although i have no profits to report. it is now clear to me that the store will never become profitable (therefore no hope of "catching up") and i can't get a regular job to pay the taxes i owe. all i can do is offer the government the stock and fixtures from the store as payment (they are clear of debt) how should i go about doing this? should i just present myself at the board of equalization (california) and tell them the truth and offer what assets i have? will i have to go to jail? i would estimate the sales tax i owe to be about $3,000.


Alice A

I'd go to the legal aid society or the low fee panel of the bar association in your county and ask for help. Failure to pay sales tax can be a crime so you want some real personal advice, from a lawyer who deals with the particular tax department and tax office, on how to handle it, before it becomes a big deal.

The lawyer may tell you to do just what you suggested, but then again, he may tell you these bureaucrats have absolutely no compassion, they are looking for a headline around tax time, and so if you walk in and be a sitting duck. Get some real local help.

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