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Jul 9, 2009 3:31 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

State seizes La Hacienda restaurant for delinquent taxes

Jul 9, 2009 3:31 PM

A Mexican restaurant in Southampton Village has been seized for the second time in less than a year for delinquent tax payments.

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance closed down La Hacienda on Jagger Lane on Thursday, July 9, on multiple tax warrants and changed the locks. Susan Burns, the tax department’s assistant director of public information, said three tax warrants were issued against La Hacienda since December, two totalling $16,384 for sales tax and one $1,043 warrant for withholding tax. The Department of Taxation and Finance alleges that La Hacienda collected sales tax from customers and income tax from employees but never turned the money over to the state.

A notice on the window, signed by tax compliance agent K. Mabli, warns that the state will sell La Hacienda’s assets if the warrant is not satisfied.

“Generally, what can happen is the taxpayer files returns with no payment,” Ms. Burns said. Other times, she said, businesses do not file their tax returns at all and the department estimates how much is owed.

La Hacienda is owned by a limited liability company called LaHacienda LLC.

When La Hacienda was first seized, in October, Ms. Burns said its owners owed the state $20,836 in sales tax collected between September 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008, but the department returned the keys to the restaurant days later.

“We worked with them to come to a settlement in order for them to redeem the business at that time,” she said.

La Hacienda’s owners have still not satisfied the $20,836 tax warrant, according to Ms. Burns.

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Are we not suprised??? Let's face it, the proprietors of La Hacienda are not USA born Americans (although their children probably are). They have fed off our system for many years without a problem: why shoud they have to pay sales and withholding tax now? It saddens me as I hoped that this particular establishment was different, but obviously not.
By workingmomof4 (21), Southampton on Jul 10, 09 12:09 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By guess who (6), Southampton on Jul 10, 09 9:26 AM
how about pink elephant $770,000 owd to the state of NY
By eastender09 (29), southampton on Jul 10, 09 9:38 AM
not so much the citizenship, but whether they have the money -- how many articles about east end businesses being temporarily shut down or seized, or declaring bankruptcy have there been in the last few months?

more than last year . . .
By quioguebirdfreak (25), quiogue on Jul 10, 09 9:38 AM
thats a shame. i frequent la hacienda often. nice people great food. wish them the best of luck resolving this issue.
By costanza (2), southampton on Jul 11, 09 2:26 PM
Surprised the liberals in town who support all the illegal immigrants haven't gotten involved. Maybe they can buy the restaurant when it is auctioned and set up a soup kitchen there.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Jul 12, 09 9:51 AM
According to the federal governmant 80% of all small businesses fail. I've had my own business for almost 20 years and I have dealt w. NY State Sales tax people, it was not pleasant experience. The good people at La Hacienda have probably fallen victim to tough economic times and inadequate accounting procedures. As a frequent patron, I wish them luck and get a good attorney! Hope to see u soon!
By easthampsta (4), East Hampton on Jul 15, 09 1:17 PM
Bad accounting is no excuse. When you collect sales tax its not your money to keep. You are an agent of the state and if you are taking money from me as sales tax it better get where its supposed to. I also had my own business and my daily tax numbers went straight into an account I set up for sales tax alone. I was never short. They are not victums, they collected sales tax, didnt pay it. Its fraud.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Jul 16, 09 8:57 AM
Quick to let everybody know they've been seized, slow to say they have re-opened, maybe not dramatic enough for you
By easthampsta (4), East Hampton on Jul 26, 09 3:39 PM
@ easthampsta:

Thanks for the comment--you're absolutely right, and we've just posted an update to the story letting people know it's back open.
By Joseph Shaw, Executive Editor (206), Hampton Bays on Jul 27, 09 3:40 PM