Zoeller files suit over back taxes

Keith Loria Sep. 13, 2010, 3:10pm


INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced on Thursday that he has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a body shop over allegations that he has failed to pay state sales tax and withholding tax since 2004.

Edgar A. Stapleton, doing business as Indiana Collision Specialists and Midtown Auto Body, allegedly owes Indiana over $58,000 in back taxes.

"Most businesspeople are diligent about paying their taxes that fund essential services such as roads, fire protection, police, courts and schools," Zoeller said.

"No one is above the law; and a business that chooses to flout their basic responsibility to pay their fair share of taxes has a competitive advantage over those who pay their taxes-and must face the significant consequences provided under our state laws."

The lawsuit alleges that Stapleton filed returns but did not remit the taxes he owed. The Department of Revenue issued tax warrants against Stapleton and his businesses for unpaid gross retail tax and withholding tax and determined Stapleton owes more than $58,000.

Although the Department revoked Stapleton's retail merchant's certificate on April 6, 2009, Stapleton has violated state law by continuing to conduct business activities in Indiana, Zoeller claims.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Indiana Department of Revenue and a judge granted Zoeller's motion for a temporary restraining order that could keep Stapleton from continuing the operation or transferring his assets until the unpaid taxes are fully paid to the state or until a hearing on a permanent restraining order happens. That hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Zoeller said that the order wouldn't prohibit Stapleton from returning customers' vehicles while the tax issue is being litigated.

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