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Jun 19, 2014 5:47 PM by associated press

IRS files lien against Jefferson Parish councilman

The Internal Revenue Service has filed a $90,000 lien on property owned by Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts to cover taxes he and his wife owe for 2008 and 2009.

Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports Roberts said Wednesday that he is appealing the lien. He said he and his wife, Katherine, incurred 2006 business losses that the IRS should deduct from the outstanding balances of 2008 and 2009.

"I assumed their responsibility of the losses. Therefore ... I also assumed the benefit of the losses as it relates to income," Roberts said in summarizing his appeal.

The IRS said the Roberts owe $24,286.80 on their 2008 taxes and $66,588.78 for 2009.

Roberts said the losses stem from a former business partner who "walked out on the business," filed bankruptcy and stuck the couple with the liabilities. He would not name the business partner but said the losses pertained to a pair of failed Quizno's sandwich shops.

The Roberts' partners in those businesses, Jeff and Nicole Loup, filed bankruptcy in 2006, according to federal court records.

The IRS typically allows a two-year "carry back" period to deduct net operating losses, although there are exceptions allowing longer periods. Roberts said the Quizno's liabilities were spread over many creditors, and he maintains the carry back periods began at various times when creditors made demands on particular debts.

That leaves open the possibility the IRS will deduct only a portion of the debt, depending on whether creditors' demands fell within allowable time frames. Roberts acknowledged this possibility, but he said he will exhaust all appeals options before paying any tax debt.

"We are by no means dodging our obligations, but we do believe what's fair is fair," Roberts said.

Roberts said he expects a resolution with the IRS before the end of the year.

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