A Texas man was given a temporary injunction Wednesday against filing a tax refund because he was unable to pay the $14,000 tax on his unclaimed properties.
The Texas Tax Court, in an order issued by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Elam, ruled that William P. Johnson, 53, had not been able to pay off the unclaimed tax debt due to the fact that he had been out of work since the last of his three jobs as a construction worker.
“Plaintiff, having suffered a loss in employment as a result of the loss of his current employment, has been unable to make timely payments on the unpaid taxes owing,” the order states.
“Because of the lack of sufficient funds, Plaintiff has been forced to file a timely tax refund in order to continue the tax payments on his property.”
The order also notes that Johnson has a history of filing false income tax returns and is not a resident of Illinois.
Johnson’s attorney, David D. Schmitt, said that the tax debt is due to unpaid taxes from the 2012 and 2013 tax years, but the amount was only $11,813.
He said the $7,500 tax debt was a result from an accounting error.
“It is an auditable debt,” Schmitt said.
“He’s not a U.K. citizen and he’s not here illegally.
He’s not even a resident in Illinois.”
Schmitt said the IRS has not filed an official notice of intent to appeal the order.
He told the Associated Press that he plans to seek a hearing on the matter with the IRS.
Johnson was working on a construction project at the time of his unpaid tax debt.
He filed for bankruptcy in 2013 after a failed attempt to sell his home in Texas.
His attorney, Joseph E. Burt, said his client is working on getting his tax refund.
He has not yet filed a claim for the $9,400 refund.
Burt said he believes that Johnson is not eligible for a refund because of his residency status.
He also said that Johnson could be eligible for more money because of the debt if he filed a separate tax return.
The case was brought by the Chicago-based Institute for Justice, which is representing Johnson.