Ocean County Politics

Inside Ocean County Government

10th Legislative District

Assemblyman McGuckin Pays Some of His Delinquent Federal Taxes

Freeholder Ginny Haines (right), seen with Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (left)

10th District Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (R), has apparently made good on some of his unpaid federal income taxes, with public records showing one of his federal tax liens being cancelled this September.

According to documents filed with the Ocean County Clerk’s Office earlier this month, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin has had a $34,827.63 lien against his Toms River residence cancelled. This particular lien was originally filed against McGuckin in 2014 and arose from federal income taxes that were not paid in 2008.

IRS officials authorized the cancellation of this lien on August 24th, and the cancellation certificate was filed with the Ocean County Clerk’s office on September 8th.

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Tax Troubles Sunk McGuckin’s 2007 Mayoral Campaign

Mr. McGuckin, a partner in the GOP powerhouse firm Dasti, Murphy, McGuckin, Ulaky, Koutsouris & Connors, has had a history of tax issues. At one time, McGuckin’s tax troubles even interfered with his political ambitions when he sought to be the mayor of Toms River on the GOP ticket years ago.

In 2007, McGuckin blamed his tax troubles on recently becoming a partner in the law firm, which resulted in different taxation technicalities compared to being an associate, according to past media reports on the topic.

Freeholder Ginny Haines (right), seen with Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (left)

Freeholder Ginny Haines (right), seen with Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (left)

The two liens that sunk McGuckin’s mayoral campaign totaled nearly $120,000 and were cancelled in 2008, records showed.

While one of his liens was cancelled this September, there are still others that are currently outstanding, according to a check of documents on file with Ocean County Clerk’s Office. In 2014, a lien was recorded covering McGuckin’s unpaid taxes from 2009 – 2012 in the amount of $57,889.32.

In the 2007 Toms River mayoral race, both the Asbury Park Press and PolitickerNJ ran headlines about the then-Toms River council president’s tax woes. Two weeks after news broke of the liens, McGuckin dropped his mayoral bid.

McGuckin currently represents New Jersey’s 10th legislative district in the state General Assembly, a seat he has occupied since 2012. McGuckin is joined in the 10th district delegation with two other Republicans – Assemblyman David Wolfe and Senator James Holzapfel.

McGuckin Tried To Get Offer In Compromise Back In February

Earlier in 2016, McGuckin hired a lawyer to represent him in federal tax court, with the goal of securing an “offer in compromise” from the IRS. According to the IRS website, an offer in compromise allows a delinquent taxpayer to “… settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe.”

McGuckin’s attorney, Thomas Kelly, contended that the IRS did not properly notify his client by providing a denial letter stating his offer in compromise was rejected.

“Mr. Kelly claimed that in accordance with Form 2848, the IRS was required to send him a copy of the…OIC rejection letter but failed to do so,” wrote United States Tax Court Judge Robert Armen in a February, 2016 ruling. “Mr. Kelly further claimed that if he had received it, he would have timely appealed the denial of the OIC, during which appeal, Mr. Kelly claimed, the IRS would have been prohibited under its Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) from filing the NFTL. Mr. Kelly did not dispute petitioner’s underlying liability or that petitioner received the OIC denial letter in time to file an appeal.”

New York-based tax attorney Lew Taishoff blogged about the McGuckin case as it happened in February, and his post may provide some additional insights on the arcane system that is the US tax court.

The tax court judge rejected Kelly’s argument, and granted summary judgement in favor of the IRS. The full opinion is below.

If only another prominent Republican lawyer, Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, would follow McGuckin’s lead and pay the piper (even if he has to borrow money from Bob Singer to do it).

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