Archive for Thursday, July 22, 2010

State revenue department seizes business assets of University Audio

A local business owner said he paid sales taxes owed to the state. Assets were seized by the state from University Audio after it was said the business owed more than $8,000.

July 22, 2010, 4:19 p.m. Updated July 22, 2010, 7:21 p.m.


Kansas Department of Revenue agents Thursday morning executed tax warrants and seized business assets of University Audio Inc. and personal assets of the owner for not paying state sales tax, the department said.

But the owner of the store, Gautam “Tom” Patel, when reached Thursday evening at the store, 2319 La., said he had cleared up the matter and paid the state the outstanding balance Thursday afternoon.

“They are completely and utterly paid off,” Patel said.

State revenue officials could not be reached for comment Thursday evening to confirm the payment.

Department spokeswoman Freda Warfield sent a news release at 3 p.m. Thursday to the Journal-World about the tax warrants obtained in Douglas County district court.

“When multiple collection attempts fail, the department is forced to protect the interests of the state and employ civil actions aimed at encouraging the taxpayers to comply, such as a bank levy, a till tap or ultimately seizure of assets,” Warfield wrote.

She said the business collected the sales tax funds but did not remit them to the state. She said the business and Patel owed $8,378.30 for December 2006 to February 2007, June 2007 and July to December 2009.

Warfield said the business was closed and that the sealed assets would be sold at auction to pay toward delinquent taxes.

Patel said the store closed Thursday morning when agents arrived but that he worked with revenue officials to make the payments. He said he could have reopened Thursday but decided to wait to open the store at 10 a.m. today.

He said the business was suffering from tough times dating back several years, to having a store in Emporia that lost a significant amount of money. Patel purchased the store in 1984.

“We’ve had tough times,” Patel said. “We look forward to having better times in the future.”


RogueThrill 7 years, 7 months ago

That takes some stones. Collect sales tax and pocket it for personal use? What a douche.

If he were smart he would have got GenericPetStore, BP and Wendy's to join a TIF.

Emily Campbell 7 years, 7 months ago

GenericPetStore has a name - Pet World, Inc. and it's awesome! At least they know what they're talking about, unlike "non-generic" PetCo. yucky ...

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

Too bad. I met him at a party once. Seemed like a nice guy.

A lot of long-standing businesses have gone under in Lawrence this year. Fun and Games comes to mind (knew the owner all his life). I'm in my mid-40s and I don't mind saying that I find THIS to be the scariest economy I've seen since the Carter years.

devobrun 7 years, 7 months ago

My guess is that he is a nice guy. Economic contingencies and tax law makes outlaws of us all.

It's called taking a risk and loosing.

Pay a lawyer, start another business.

After reviewing the above, I amend the statement. It makes outlaws of us all except university professors.

They don't have to pay taxes....they are payed from them.

yourneighbor 7 years, 7 months ago

Fun and Games didn't close. They just moved... back to the Antique mall downtown.

LogicMan 7 years, 7 months ago

No kidding, especially via "Business" and then "Douglas" search! Here's the link.

LogicMan 7 years, 7 months ago

"I wonder why some of these business got this way?"

LJW: Would make for interesting stories. What are the types of funds owed to the State, why isn't there an automatic submission when collected in this electronic age, and so on. Then interviews of those companies in tax trouble such as UA, Wheatstate, Transmasters, Papa Kenos, etc.

I'd guess some have payment plans to the State in place, and as long as they are making timely payments they are avoiding raids. Or we don't hear about them. Or they are already in bankruptcy or closed. Interesting and timely humanbusiness stories to be had!

Mary Sucha 7 years, 7 months ago

There wasn't any misunderstanding. He didn't pay sales taxes for several months in 2007 and the last half of 2009 and obviously made no attempt to pay the debt, UNTIL his business was shut down and then he suddenly had the money. He stole state and local sales taxes. He is a thief.

otto 7 years, 7 months ago

Speaking of business closures -- Anyone know what happened to Jade Mongolian BBQ?

I went by there the other day and all it had was a closed sign.

John Hamm 7 years, 7 months ago

OH NO! Not Mongolian BBBQ. That sucks!

Mike Hatch 7 years, 7 months ago

The other week, they had a small sign out front saying that upcoming Saturday was going to be their last day open. That's all I know, but I liked going there every once in a while. The stuff on the buffet could be kind of bad, but the freshly-cooked stuff was always good.

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

The food was good, and it was a good deal, but they had serious problems keeping the place cool in the summer - last time I went there it was unbelievably hot.

BigPrune 7 years, 7 months ago

I think the economy is even worse than the now distinguished former stateman Jimmy Carter reign of gloom. For one thing, unemployment is hovering between 18.2% to 20.6% not the 9.5% as reported by Obama for the past year - this is due to the way unemployment is now factored -it includes new business start-ups and failures - I don't know of any new business start-ups happening, only failures.

But, there's always "Hope," .............right.

25% unemployment is called a "Depression" and I think we are at the cusp of a major depression.

BigPrune 7 years, 7 months ago

really, where are they? you say, "several"

BigPrune 7 years, 7 months ago

sure it's obama's fault. he's a liar.

beatrice 7 years, 7 months ago

Much better than a mavericky wink to nowhere. This is as clear as the writing on my hand, you betcha!

devobrun 7 years, 7 months ago

You know those cartoon sounds of things dropping from a great height? Starts out high pitched and drops frequency until there is a thud?

Is it the economy? Is it the politics? Is it the Merle Haggard song:

Maybe Obama headed for hell?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 7 months ago

Not many comments here that get the point - this business isn't being seized because taxes are too high.

This business is being seized because it collected "too high" sales tax revenue and kept it.

Too bad it wasn't in one of the special districts like 6th and Wakarusa, that would be perfectly legal there.

devobrun 7 years, 7 months ago

Note to all businesses: If you collect taxes for sales, income withholding, excise, or any other arbitrary Obama, Bush, or Putin tax.......Pay the sucker.

Elsen, you are meat. Steal, rob, lie, cheat.....but pay the taxes.

Minority status doesn't count. Dead parents, dead spouses, dead children, heck, even if you are excuse.

Pay the taxes.

Go next door and steal the cash register. Go down the block and rob an old lady. Point a gun at the mayor and demand his wallet. Probation.

But if you don't pay yer taxes.....your are in big trouble.

Avoid tax litigation at all costs. They always win. Even when they don't win, they get the interest, the royalty, the publicity. They are the government and they control you.

Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine are dead in more ways than one.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 7 months ago

When you take a ride on the crazy train, do you get a souvenir hat?

mdrndgtl 7 years, 7 months ago

Yessir, Obama headed straight ta Hell fer what he dun. 'Merica never looked so gosh darn bad.

Onlyifitsadryshelter 7 years, 7 months ago

Very nice of the state to issue a press statement and then when the situation is fixed not answer the phone. I'm just sayin....

napoleon969 7 years, 7 months ago

What everyone needs to remember is that these back taxes are not the business owner's money. Its sales taxes that he's collected from his customers with an obligation to forward them to the State. What he's probably done is used your money to pay his bills. You, in good faith, paid the sales tax at the register trusting that the business will live up to their obligation and send it in. He doesn't live up to his side of the bargin and we all loose.

thinkb4uspeak 7 years, 7 months ago

I love how this is turned into a witch hunt..... Lets remember this business has been in lawrence for many, many years. Yes, it happened. YES, THE OWNER MADE IT RIGHT WITHIN HOURS. I also know that when story hit the web yesterday, the payment already was made, and the story was"missing" or failed to mention several things ( Lets all think about it. How many times has the ljword had to go back and "re-write, or made ajustments to stories... come on lets be truthful here) Like someone said before, compared to some other business' its a drop in the bucket. Funny how the state of Kansas has yet to make a statement..... nooooo, a delay with the state of kansas.... never.

RogueThrill 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't know what rock you've been living under, but state employees aren't exactly exempt from any of the things private sector workers are vulnerable to. They have had layoffs, furloughs, underfunded retirement plans, lack of wage increases, etc. In addition, they get to be whipping boys for the uneducated electorate who think state workers have it so well.

RogueThrill 7 years, 7 months ago

So, what did I miss out on, exactly? What did I say that isn't true?

thinkb4uspeak 7 years, 7 months ago

Come on Rogue Thrill..... sound it out ...... frorr...... Ok we'll wait so you can stick you foot in your mouth yet once again.

thinkb4uspeak 7 years, 7 months ago

OK... something on my screen made it looked like you spelled something wrong... So I take it back. But still you were the first to make a stupid comment before knowing ALL the facts

RogueThrill 7 years, 7 months ago

No, you were. I have a pretty good grasp of the facts. You are the one who can't read.

RogueThrill 7 years, 7 months ago

More like thunkb4utalk. And, hopefully, thinkb4ubreed.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.