Thousands of businesses and millions of Americans have tax problems. It happens and most can be resolved with an offer in compromise or installment agreement. For some, bankruptcy is the old way out. Contractors and politicians have learned that tax compliance may be necessary to earn a living. Case in point – Jack Higgins and Higgins Development Partners.
Jack Higgins is a politically connected businessman. He has close ties to former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. In September the Illinois Medical District Commission selected Higgins to develop a $175,000,000.00 housing and office project in Chicago. That deal appears dead in light of revelations that Higgins owes the IRS $2.5 million.
The issue came to light after reporters found Higgins had 3 IRS tax liens for 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010 taxes. The Chicago Sun-Times quotes a commission spokesperson as saying, “The Illinois Medical District Commission … will not be executing any contract with Higgins Development Partners… The commission was in the process of conducting its standard due diligence on this developer when the issues of Mr. Higgins’ personal finances came to light.”
The lesson from this story is obvious. Don’t expect to do business with the government if you have IRS problems. In our experience, a tax lien doesn’t have to be fatal if there is already an installment plan in place and a good history of compliance. Waiting until a contract is about to be signed is too late, however.
Tax records are privileged and not subject to freedom of information requests but tax liens and IRS summons enforcement actions are public documents.
If you are a business struggling to make ends meet, you aren’t alone. The time when you most need new business is not the time to lose business because of tax problems. A good IRS attorney can often prevent the filing of liens or secure a lien release. Private individuals that rely on government security clearances also need to worry.
The IRS tax attorneys at Mahany & Ertl have helped taxpayers all over the United States. We have helped individuals and small businesses and some large clients too including a Fortune 500 company. In this economy, financial hardships can happen to any size business.
For more information, contact attorney Bethany Canfield at or by telephone at (414) 223-0464. The author can also be contacted at or by phone at (414) 704-6731 (direct). All inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege.