The failure to pay taxes could land one in hot water not only with the IRS but also with state and local authorities. The state of California even went so far as to publish a list of individuals and companies who apparently owe the most unpaid taxes since 2007. Government officials say they have collected more than $100 million since they started making the list public.

Published by the Board of Equalization, the list expanded to cover the top 500 of the largest tax delinquencies beginning this year rather than just the top 250, as it did previously. The largest amount owed is that of a Downey-based company which reportedly owes $18.4 million. According to a news report, the company has been the largest tax delinquent in California since at least 2010.

When companies or individuals forget or fail to pay their taxes, there could be serious ramifications. The Downey-based company, for example, has had a lien on it since 2002. In some cases, the state can even go after the owner of the business to make up for the back taxes. For example, one man on the list who is doing business in California has had a lien against him since 2002 for a tax bill of $11 million owed by his business.

Owing back taxes is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. All requests for more information from the IRS or from state authorities should be answered as timely and as properly as possible. This is particularly important since, starting in July, persons or companies whose names appear in the top 500 list will have any state-issued licenses held in their name suspended or revoked.

To prevent that from happening, those individuals and companies will want to do what they can to ensure tax compliance.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, “Downey Company Keeps Top Spot On State’s Top 500 Tax Delinquents List,” March 2, 2012