Monica Becerra refuted that she and her husband, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, owe more than $1 million in taxes.
The Becerras owed a combined $1.2 million from tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018, according to tax lien documents from the Internal Revenue Service issued on Feb. 17, 2022. But Monica claims the IRS mistakenly thought they hadn’t filed business taxes for Becerra Corp., which is linked to Gil’s Broiler & Manske Roll Bakery, for 2016, 2017 and 2018. She said she recently received documents from the IRS, reflecting that Becerra Corp. only owes $8,417.31 for tax year 2016 and $7,173.35 for tax year 2017.
“Recently, in the middle toward the end of October, [the IRS] realized that I guess one of our returns — even though our CPA sent it and we have the submission identification number on there saying that it was sent and received — for whatever reason they never got it,” Monica Becerra said. “Basically, in their eyes, they felt like we had not filed a business return, and so we took in all this money in the restaurant but never filed it as income. So, then I’m like, ‘that isn’t true. We did send them in.’”
The $1.2 million in owed taxes were first addressed during a Hays County Commissioners Court meeting on Sept. 20.
Commissioner Walt Smith brought up concerns about Judge Becerra’s taxes as the court prepared to approve the 2022 tax rate.
Smith asked Ruben Becerra if he felt comfortable voting on the tax rate, or if he would like to recuse himself.
The county judge asked Smith to go into further detail.
“When setting a tax rate, we are considering not only the taxes that are raised from here in the county, but funding that we received from the state as budgeted, funding we received from the federal government as budgeted,” Smith said. “Currently, you have over $1.1 million in federal tax liens that are unpaid. I just don’t know, if I were in your shoes, if I would want to levy taxes on citizens of our public whenever I don’t pay my own. I’m offering you that opportunity.”
Ruben responded, “Thank you so much for your generosity, I am so grateful,” and moved on to the vote.
Documents from the Department of Treasury — Internal Revenue Service obtained by the Daily Record through the Hays County Clerk’s Office point out two federal tax liens for non-payment pending in Small Business/Self Employed, Area #5.
The documents — Form 668(Y)(c) — are notices of federal tax lien which are filed with local and/or state authorities to alert creditors that the government has an interest in current and future property assets. The documents, as provided by section 6321, 6322 and 6323 of the Internal Revenue Code, read they are giving a notice that taxes, including interest and penalties, have been assessed against the following named taxpayer. Ruben is listed on one document, while he and his wife Monica are listed on another.
One document includes liens on tax periods ending in 2016 and 2017, while the other has a lien on the tax period ending in 2018.
The tax lien document for tax years 2016 and 2017 states that Ruben and Monica Becerra owe $545,569.58 for 2016 and $407,386.06 for 2017. The tax lien document for 2018 states that Ruben Becerra owes $125,648.93.
Both documents were signed and certified that they were filed on Feb. 17, 2022 by Hays County Clerk Elaine H. Cardenas.
Monica Becerra said the IRS made an error regarding how Becerra Corp files its taxes for tax years 2016 and 2017, according to conversations she had with IRS Revenue Officer Amanda Bowman.
Monica stated that the confusion came on whether Becerra Corp filed taxes on a Form 1040 — an IRS form for a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and a 1040 Schedule C form which reports income or losses from a business operated or a profession practiced as a sole proprietor — or a 1120 form, a U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return document.
“From 2015 on, we no longer file a 1040 for business returns,” Monica said. “We would only file our W-2s on a 1040 and that’s been from 2015 to today. After that, we would file a 1120 for all business tax returns related to Gil’s Broiler.”
Monica Becerra stated that documents from the IRS — shared with and reviewed by the Daily Record — state that Becerra Corp owes $8,417.31 for 2016 and $7,173.35 for 2017. She added that they still need to resolve issues with the IRS as it believes that they never submitted their tax returns for 2016 and 2017, which has caused late fees to be assessed to each tax year.
Monica stated that Bowman also told her that she should file an appeal to have those late fees removed.
“[Bowman] told us that we should because we do have the proof of submission,” Monica Becerra said. “I also have a bill from our CPA that we paid because he emailed me the receipt at the time. So, she was like, ‘that’s really good.’”
Monica said they would only be appealing the late penalties, but added that they’ve already paid the taxes owed.
“So, ultimately, is it going to end up that we probably are going to owe something still? I would say yes,” Monica said. “But is it going to be as large as [the combined $15,590.66 for 2016-17]? No, I don’t think it will be.”
Regarding the 2018 tax lien, which states that Ruben owes $125,648.93, Monica stated that she has yet to address that one with the IRS.
Read More: Becerras refute IRS tax liens