Nashville Tennessee Tax Man Victor by Default on Liquor Privilege Taxes

Nashville Tennessee Tax Man Victor by Default on Liquor Privilege Taxes

Nearly everyone with a liquor license in Nashville has grumbled about large tax bills that suddenly landed in mailboxes last spring. The Metro Nashville Davidson County Clerk failed to collect privilege taxes for a couple of years.

Oops. It was only several hundred thousand dollars - maybe a million.

Mere mortals like you and I would expect a visit from Donald Trump and hear his famous line: "You're fired." Instead the clerk just sends out notices that three years taxes are due. To add insult to injury, the clerk asked for more than was legal under state law.

We blogged about the issue here and advised folks not to pay the taxes.

To its credit, Metro addressed the problem, moved the collection of LBD privilege taxes to the Metro Treasurer, and asked for the lawful amount. With Metro asking for the correct amount, we advised folks to pay current LBD privilege taxes, but not prior years.

The Metro Treasurer, citing standard accounting procedures, has been applying all payments to the oldest invoices. We have heard from several folks that regardless of what is in a licensee's cover letter, or even written on the check, the payment is applied to back taxes. Even if  the payment is clearly sent for the current year. Metro then sends a letter demanding payment for current taxes.

You ask, what can I do about this atrocity? Practically speaking, nothing. Metro arguably can collect the back taxes. Most importantly, the amount of the taxes does not justify going to court and making your lawyer rich.

The Who captured our thoughts with this line from "Success Story"

Away for the weekend
I've gotta play some one-night stands
Six for the tax man, and one for the band

If anyone has a strategy to contest or avoid paying the back taxes, please e-mail will@willcheek.com.

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