March 25, 2004 — The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has filed a lien against the V.I. Department of Finance's downtown offices for failing to pay more than $1.6 million in back social security taxes.
If the Department of Finance fails to pay the aforementioned taxes by March 11, 2014, the IRS could seize and auction the property.
The social security taxes for the department's roughly 12,000 employees — totaling more than $1.6 million — were to be paid on six dates between June 24, 2002 and Sept. 1, 2003.
The lien, filed March 11 with the District Recorder of Deeds, is against 2314 Kronprindsens Gade, the mailing address for 75 Kronprindsens Gade, the department's main office on St. Thomas.
The property was last assessed in 2002 as being worth more than $4 million.
Generally, property seizure is a last resort, said IRS spokesman Mike Dobzinski by telephone from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It is IRS policy to not speak about individual cases.
Assistant Commissioner of Finance Valencio Jackson said the taxes were paid on time and the lien stems from a misunderstanding.
"They think we owe them money," Jackson said. "We have paid, and we have proof electronically that we've paid all our taxes."
Jackson said the department filed its taxes electronically and has receipts from the payments.
"The problem is how we filed," Jackson said, saying the department files its taxes biweekly on the same schedule as its payroll.
He suspects the IRS may want the taxes paid weekly.
Jackson said he has spoken to the IRS on the telephone and requested a face-to-face meeting in order to resolve the matter. A meeting has yet to be scheduled.
"When they give me a reply [regarding the meeting], we'll take care of the lien," he said.
Jackson said, to his knowledge, this is the only lien against a Department of Finance property.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice… click here.