Former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado in IRS Tax Heat

Even Top Golden State Politician Can’t Avoid Taxman

Average Joes commonly think that politicians have it easy. They get to work the system, make connections, and avoid certain things, like taxes.

But tell that to former California Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado, who now finds himself in the middle of a tussle with the IRS over $470,000 in disputed taxes.

Maldonado’s no stranger to Golden State politics. Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tapped him to serve as “LG” after  several years in the state legislature. He’s now running for Congress in California’s Central Coast, and his tax dispute surely won’t help his campaign.

Maldonado’s tax troubles aren’t uncommon for businesses around the country. Citing errors in deduction and depreciation calculations, the IRS is going after extra money owed by his family business that includes a farm and equipment rentals.

Trying to avoid more political fallout, the former state Senator and Assemblyman filed papers to dissolve himself from the family business. He cited the way the companies were legally structured made him individually liable for its taxes.

But it’s not the first time he and his family have run into tax trouble.

Protesting, they paid more than $110,000 in back taxes in 2010. That originated from a dispute over pickup trucks and whether they were for business or personal use. The IRS even put a lien on Maldonado’s 6,000-acre family farm in Santa Barbara County.

But if there’s any less for regular taxpayers, it’s that even politicians can run into trouble with the IRS. And if the IRS puts liens on a politician’s business, imagine what they can do to the rest of us without friends and connections in the Capitol.

Whether it’s your business or you as a taxpayer who owes a back tax debt to the IRS, hiring a tax attorney or seasoned tax professional will help you reach an outcome that’s fair, and can sometimes save you thousands off your tax bill. That’s something a few select public officials could learn from.

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