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Tigertail closure update

Posted by Dale on September 28th, 2009

Update 5:45 p.m.: Just went by Tigertail again this afternoon and noticed a letter from the Department of Revenue in the window. The Sept. 17 letter states that Tigertail’s Certificate of Registration has been revoked because of three unpaid tax warrants in the amounts of $6,897.34, $10,397.76 and $12,970.20. The warrants were issued Aug. 28, 2008, Feb. 26, 2009, and June 25, 2009. The letter states that the sign must be posted conspicuously. We never noticed it the three previous times we stopped by in the last week, perhaps because the non-descript white paper is sandwiched in between the menu, reviews and various other signs. What’s interesting is that while the sign must be posted for the public to view, the Department of Revenue told us this morning it couldn’t comment on the case because it’s a privacy issue.

The state Liquor Control Board says this morning that the Washington State Department of Revenue is responsible for Tigertail’s closure.

The state DOR will only say that Tigertail, 704 NW 65th St., still has an active business license. They won’t comment on whether they are pursuing a matter against the company, saying it’s a privacy issue.

Still no word from Tigertail’s owners about what’s happening.

Tags: Ballard · Phinney Ridge-Greenwood   Share

36 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Lexicon Grrl // Sep 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    There's a letter from the DOR posted in the front window of the restaurant that's been there since they closed the doors. It lists the amounts and dates of their overdue tax payments, who revoked the license, why and when. I thought it was a pretty clear comment from the owners…

  • 2 kelly // Sep 28, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    that sucks! love the tiger tail especially during laundry night :)

    of course that crappy laundry-mat barley has anything working so maybe it's time to find another happyhour/laundrymat location.

  • 3 NoraBell // Sep 28, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Yeah, the notice on the door is pretty clear. It just looked like a really large amount for a business that isn't very old. I hope they can clear it up and re-open.

  • 4 Fauxnothing // Sep 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Generally, when a business gets far enough behind in state tax payments that the DOR has to close it down, it means the business is in big trouble and they're using the tax they collected from customers to pay other bills and/or pay themselves instead of sending the tax money to the DOR like they're supposed to. Not a good sign.

  • 5 NoraBell // Sep 28, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    What I'm afraid of. It was a huge amount owed according to the notice. Trouble with a capital 'T.'

  • 6 Ballardog // Sep 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    C'est la vie. Maybe we'll get another pizza joint.

  • 7 Name // Sep 28, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    hmmm maybe the soution is paying your taxes like the rest of us? should I feel sorry?

  • 8 rob3rt // Sep 29, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Kelly, the best laundromat is of course Transformation Station – where your clothes come in dirty, and they leave clean! It's on 8th at Market.
    They are the nicest people!

  • 9 bellie // Sep 29, 2009 at 2:22 am

    Ya think?

  • 10 kim // Sep 29, 2009 at 2:34 am

    it can make or break a great business. that's why there's partners.

  • 11 Name // Sep 29, 2009 at 2:54 am

    yes I think businesses should pay their taxes. Ya?

  • 12 birdymkr // Sep 29, 2009 at 4:14 am

    The issue is a business collects the tax for the DOR. The money is not the owner's $. PERIOD. I realize these are difficult economic times for small businesses but one thing you just don't do is not pay your state sales taxes!

  • 13 Ballardmom // Sep 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I agree. And now they have a coffee house with wifi next door.

  • 14 Ballardmom // Sep 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    There is a chance that they didn't understand when where and how to file their state taxes and just didn't want to think about it and it snowballed. I see that happen more than you'd think with small businesses.

  • 15 sdrake1958 // Sep 29, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Just received my 3rd quarter form from our lovely state myself. A business doesn't pay taxes. It's clients do. A real wake up call would be everybody keeping everything they “earn” and send a check like many do each and every 1/4. Or at least just one time for sure. Try arguing with the state. Try suing them. This state, like too many, is broke and want each and every penny they think belongs to them. And some selected a guy with zero business experience to run the USA. Zero. Makes cents to me!

  • 16 Bark more, Wag Less // Sep 29, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    …one more reason to buy out of state from vendors who don't charge the high sales tax. Easy to find them.

  • 17 balishag // Sep 29, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    People do not pay their taxes for a variety of reasons. However, it does not surprise me that people still find delight in making snarky comments and comparisons. It's the nature of the typical unemployed/underemployed users trolling this blog. If you want a real story, you should ask why two businesses in this building are closed. It may not just be a problem with the business owners.

  • 18 phinneynotballard // Sep 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    are you unemployed or underemployed? Me, I just don't work as hard as I should.

  • 19 phinneynotballard // Sep 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Individuals and business fall behind on taxes sometimes, that's just a fact of life. But it would appear that its been a year since the DOR identified the problem and its doubled in the interim. I think that's generous enough. The feds will start garnishing your wages if you're an indivdual at this point.

  • 20 ballardmike // Sep 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    They should have filed for corporate status offshore to get out of those pesky taxes.

  • 21 SPG // Sep 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    You do realize that as a business you are still liable for that sales tax even though your vendor didn't collect it? When you get audited you'll be paying more than just the sales tax on those out of state purchases.

  • 22 Tastyviddles // Sep 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    For a small business – those taxes aren't that high – that could be 1 or 2 months of not paying payroll taxes…you start to fall behind and then you don't know how to catch up. It's easy to say – well, they should have paid their taxes before they paid their employees – but realistically – it's not that easy. You can't just tell your employees, “Well, you aren't getting paid this week. Sorry bout that…” It's easy to fall behind, and anyone who make ssnarky comments or otherwise doesn't understand the plight of the small biz.

  • 23 Bark more, Wag Less // Sep 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    They'll have to tackle the UPS man first….

  • 24 Fauxnothing // Sep 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Running a small business is probably the most difficult task in the world. In so many ways, it's harder than running a much larger business that would have many employees, or even large departments, to handle the day-to-day behind-the-scenes tasks that a small business owner must do alone while simultaneously working in the business. Many small business owners have all the necessary skills for baking cakes, fixing cars, bathing dogs, etc., but they don't have the knowledge or experience to actually handle the bookkeeping and other business tasks.

    I understand the dilemma that small businesses face; there's money in the bank and there are bills to pay. In order to keep the doors open, the employees must be paid, the rent needs to be paid, and suppliers will cut you off if you don't pay them. If you close the doors, nobody gets paid. So, instead of paying the DOR the tax revenue you've collected and put in the bank, you pay the immediate bills and hope the DOR doesn't come after you before you've been able to replace the money you took from the bank. Of course, it almost never works that way.

    To a small business owner who is doing his/her level best just to keep the doors open, that tax money is a constant temptation. It's in your bank acount, right? It feels like your own money, you need the money, and there's no other place to get the money you need to keep the business running. The business you've put your heart and soul into, never mind your own money and possibly that of friends and family.

    Been there, done that. Sad thing is, your employees and your suppliers don't have the immediate power to close your business down. Even your landlord has to go through some huge steps to make it happen. The DOR and the IRS both have the power to close your doors.

    Personally, I find it surprising that MyBallard.com puts news like this on the front page. I know, it feels like business news. The reality is that it's extremely personal news to the people it's happening to. It's embarrassing and heartbreaking. It almost feels like commenting on this article is akin to commenting on a suicide article.

  • 25 phinneynotballard // Sep 29, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    There is no “front page,” its a blog. They post stories that they think are relevant to the neighborhood, and clearly by the activity on this forum, people find the topic meaningful.

    Someone made a comment a few days ago that it was freshing to see some actual journalism in the media, and I agree. Instead of just posting “Tigertail closed” Dale is making calls and asking questions. This is a public business that is a part of the fabric of our neighborhood – I see nothing wrong with reporting on it. Someone's house buring is personal news; a lost cat is personal news; news is simply personal in nature. Nothing posted in this story isn't available to anyone who walked by and looked in the window. No one is speculating anything.

  • 26 Fauxnothing // Sep 29, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    By “front page” I guess I was thinking “not in a forum page” so, yes, you're right.

    And, I'm not arguing that the story isn't business news, just that anyone who has owned a small business will surely recognize the personal nature of this situation. It's sad, for sure. It's obviously touching me on a personal level, and probably others as well. Sorry, just feeling somewhat maudlin today.

  • 27 mjb // Sep 29, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    i also agree re transformation! the laundromat near tiger tail is the most disgusting laundromat i've ever been in. and i've been in a lot of laundromats–7 years in nyc! i saw it all in there, and all coming out of machines–what looked like feces, dirty clothes still hanging out of washing machines, styrofoam peanuts, etc. and it reeks, most of the dryers dont work, the soda machine never worked, nd there is no attendant in case any of the questionable types who patronize this place decide to act up. i was really happy when i found transformation. now im even happier as i have my own washer and drier!

  • 28 Ballardmom // Sep 29, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    That's not true – that the clients pay the taxes. Unless you charge your clients mark-up on their invoices to specifically cover the taxes. The state taxes you on your revenue (ie: income). The city taxes you on sales.

  • 29 kim // Sep 30, 2009 at 2:09 am

    au contraire. you need to budget my friend. i get your employee comment, but the “owner” would then need to sacrifice and pull double/triple shifts or get rid of someone they can't afford.

  • 30 balishag // Sep 30, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    interesting comment from a regular patron

  • 31 SPG // Sep 30, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Considering that the government just took down the Swiss bank privacy law to get at tax cheats I think getting UPS and other shipper or vendor records would be easy and an obvious next step in replacing revenue.

  • 32 Kat // Oct 1, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Friend works just up the block and said he saw furniture and such getting removed most of the day. Must be closing for good.

  • 33 gooner // Oct 1, 2009 at 3:25 am

    and there is now a city of seattle note on the door noting that they are shutting their water off.

  • 34 Suzie // Oct 1, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    This statement is silly, the President has never run the USA and certainly doesn't run the IRS. And very few Presidents have run a successful business. W's business experiences were all failures, Clinton and Bush Sr. were career politicians, Reagan was and actor… the last successful business owner to become President was a peanut farmer, and I don't think you can look at the Carter Administration as a highlight in American's presidential past.

  • 35 tiktok // Oct 1, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    When you hang your shingle out in public, you take the risk of being ridiculed along with being praised. If that bothers you, don't open your own business.

    Running a successful small business is difficult, and most people who try to do so, fail. It requires good planning, hard work and good luck to make it. It appears that Tigertail was short on at least one of these. C'est la vie. Someone else will get a good deal on their fixtures and maybe the lease, and maybe they will thrive.

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