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City of LA is claiming I owe them $1,300

artist alley

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#1 redpikachu

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:11 AM

I am curious to know if any other artist has experienced this. I was in Artist Alley back in 2010. From what I can remember, I made something like $200-$300 and paid my 10% in taxes. I didn't hear from the City of LA after I paid. I moved out of state in 2011, and JUST NOW, I get a letter from the City of LA, dated June 4th, 2012 claiming I owe principal, interest, and penalties totaling to $1,300.21. Now, they are threatening to file charges against me. What is this? I already paid my taxes two years ago and don't owe them anything. Why am I receiving this? Has this happened to any other artists at Anime Expo?

#2 stilte

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:50 AM

Hi, I was in artist alley in 2010 and 2012.
A couple months ago I received a strange letter from the city saying I owed them money and if I didn't reply I would be fined.
I thought it was just weird and threw it away. Then I received the letter a second time. I showed my dad it, figuring he'd know what they wanted. He said that they probably thought the temporary sales permit was for then just the anime expo and they probably thought I was hiding money from them. He told me to write a letter back to them and explain it was only for a four day event and that I paid the taxes on them. I never got around to sending the letter and now have since then lost it. Now I'm wondering if I'll soon be receiving the penalty letter like you got. Maybe you didn't receive the first letters because of your move?

#3 redpikachu

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:01 PM

I found out that this is actually a common problem among people like us. There was a really helpful blog post I found from an artist dating back to 2008: http://www.artistadv...ms/archives/283. I called the City of LA's Office of Finance twice, speaking to two different people and they are clearly disgruntled government employees. In my experience, they won't help you at all. I tried telling them I moved and I already paid my taxes, but they just kept interrupting me, telling me to fill out the form that came with the "Estimated Assessment." The problem is, I don't even remember exactly how much I made in 2010. What's even crazier is that this woman told me tax to the city of LA is $1.01 for every $1,000. I was super tempted to send them a check for $0.20.

From what I can tell, you are supposed to be able to tell them that your "business" in LA ceased activity and you don't owe them. If you do happen to owe taxes, you can get a single penalty waiver. What's even more messed up is that it looks like they track and see if you receive any 1099's. If you do, they ASSUME the money from that 1099 happened in LA. Which is ridiculous because if they find out you got a 1099, then can't they see who sent it to you? (In my case, the 1099 was from a university in Illinois.) They were claiming I owed $300 in taxes, along with penalties and interest (adding up to the $1300). So, somewhere along the line they think I earned $300,000 in the city of LA in the last two years. It makes me wonder how such gross miscalculation even happened. I only put the letter in the mail yesterday, but I'll post if they send anything else to me.





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