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State officer owes $150k in back taxes

The chief information officer for the Massachusetts State Legislature and his wife allegedly owe nearly $150,000 in back taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The man's earnings from the state over the last three years totaled more than $1.1 million and he likely had additional income from his information technology consulting company. The IRS filed liens last year for the taxes owed for the 2010 and 2011 tax years. It is not known whether these taxes are owed on earnings from the state or from business profit.

According to state records, the man was paid more than $300,000 per year as an independent contractor since he was chosen to serve the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives as their interim chief information officer. His duties included maintaining the related state websites and overseeing technology projects. Before starting 3S Con, Inc., the man's consulting business, he worked in the financial services industry for firms including Putnam Investments, Commonwealth Financial and ING.

In a statement made over the telephone, the man shared that he has worked out a payment plan for the taxes owed to the IRS and added that his current tax liabilities have been paid in full. He refused to share the personal issues that caused him to fall behind. The senate president and house speaker also released a statement, assuring the public that the money spent on this independent contractor position is important and helps give the public "access to the legislative process."

A tax lien can be embarrassing and costly, especially if the tax payer does not have proper counsel. Consulting a tax attorney could be beneficial, as these professionals may be able to negotiate more lenient payment terms or prevent a tax lien altogether.

Source: Boston Globe, "IRS files liens on state tech manager", Todd Wallack, August 29, 2013

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