Can Virginia collect taxes from 16 years ago
February 13, 2008 1:47 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend, can the state of Virginia collect back taxes for the years 1992-3.

My friend recieved a phone call from a collection agency in CA. saying that he owed taxes to va for 1992-3, so my friend called va tax dept and asked what was going on. He was informed that his return for 1992 didn't match his federal return and his 1993 return he didn't even file. He told them he was a partial year resident in 92 thus that was the difference and in 93 he didn't live in va. All he got from them was he needed to prove it. He looked up the statue and it vaguely says they have 6 years. My question is can they collect after such a time or not? where would he find this information?
posted by vronsky to Law & Government (8 answers total)
He needs to call an accountant. Not one of those ones that operates on TV, but a real one, with references.
posted by miss tea at 1:52 PM on February 13, 2008

He might want to call a Virginia tax lawyer, too. I would.
posted by The World Famous at 2:04 PM on February 13, 2008

I think the generally accepted period is seven years. However, Virginia might have different rules, and that might be what your friend saw as six years, which would be even better. There mere fact that it is now longer than that does not necessarily get him off the hook though. This is now in collection. If VA started seeking this payment within the six years he may still owe it. An accountant or lawyer can help for sure, but he wants one familiar with VA tax law.
posted by caddis at 3:33 PM on February 13, 2008

This is easy to prove. Just show Virginia the state taxes from the state to which he moved (California?) and they will either go away meekly (50-50) or demand part of the taxes from '92. If you end up having to pay part to Virginia, you can deduct the payment in California.

I am not a tax expert or lawyer or much of anything else for that matter, but I am someone who had a very similar situation happen to him.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:08 PM on February 13, 2008

The Missouri DOR tried a similar residency objection with an acquaintance of mine. He wrote back that if they thought he lived in Missouri at that time, the onus was on them to prove it. He never heard from them about it again.
posted by Coventry at 7:14 PM on February 13, 2008

California does this to me every year. I'm officially a CA resident, but I'm non-resident (military) and thus don't have to pay any tax, or even file a return. Every year they send me a collection notice for several years ago. So I'm forced to call them, explain AGAIN what the deal is, and get it removed.

The good news is, the most proof I ever had to provide was an out-of-state address, and per phonecon at that (i.e. I could have just made it up out of my ass). Usually they just take my word for it.

In answer to the question, yes they can do that. They're probably sending the notice because they have someone who goes through the records looking for old debts that are about to be (but are not yet) beyond collection.
posted by ctmf at 7:36 PM on February 13, 2008

(this is vronsky) Thanks for the answers. The thing that threw up a red flag for me was the collection agency from Ca. As far as I know, he has only ever lived on the east coast. I was hoping someone would say that this was a common scam.

Maybe a lawyer could chime in with a definitive answer?
posted by vronsky at 8:53 PM on February 13, 2008

If he actually talked to the VA tax department and they confirmed that they thought he owed them money then I doubt it is a scam. The good news is that they said that all he needs to do is prove he is a part-year resident for the first year and a non-resident the second. JohnnyGunn's suggestion of providing the state returns that covers the non-VA part would probably work. (IANAL - just guessing) If he has a lease or something similar that shows when he moved to his home in the new state, I might include that as well. Personally, I would provide the proof and see if that makes it go away. If it is not good enough then I would consult an expert.
posted by metahawk at 10:35 PM on February 13, 2008

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