The IRS has filed a lien for more than $8 million in longstanding, unpaid taxes against Jill Justice Long, president of The Greenbrier resort and daughter of Gov. Jim Justice.
The record notes that the Internal Revenue Service has already made a demand for payment but that the debt remains unpaid. So the IRS is making a demand for property and rights to property belonging to Jill Justice Long.
Most of the total amount owed, $6.5 million, dates back to 2009.
That is the year the Russian company Mechel bought the Justice family’s coal operations, Bluestone Coal Corp., for $436 million in cash and 83.3 million Mechel preferred shares. And that is the year the Justice family bought The Greenbrier out of bankruptcy.
The lien’s filing is one of several financial troubles for the Justice family. Governor Justice and first lady Cathy Justice are subject to a $58 million claim by their longtime banker after signing personal guarantees on two loans that went into default.
And the family businesses are in financial conflicts on two fronts with that bank, Carter Bank & Trust, as well as the international financial company Greensill. All told, the financial risk adds up to as much as a billion dollars.
During an early June press briefing, after the revelation of $700 million personal guarantees to the collapsed Greensill, Governor Justice acknowledged conversations with his family about the enormous debt.
“I’ve had to review this with my family. What was going on what the rebuilding of Bluestone. We knew it would take hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild Bluestone,” he said. “We’ll continue to pay our obligations and move forward.
The lien against Jill Justice Long appears to be a separate court matter but adds to the swirl of financial problems.
The IRS provides a helpful description of what to do if you fall behind on tax payments and potentially face a lien.
Those who don’t pay their taxes in full at first receive a bill for the amount owed. The first notice a taxpayer receives is a letter that explains the balance due and demands payment in full.
Any unpaid balance compounds daily and is subject to a monthly late penalty. “It’s in your best interest to pay your tax liability in full as soon as you can to minimize the penalty and interest charges,” the IRS advises. The agency suggests it might be better to obtain a cash advance on a credit card, get a loan from a bank or check out a payment plan to take care of the debt.
The IRS can also take requests to delay payment for people who just aren’t in position to pay.
But if all that fails, the IRS may file a lien, as it did in this case. That is a legal claim to the taxpayer’s property, including any accumulated after the lien arises.
“The IRS may levy (seize) assets such as wages, bank accounts, social security benefits, and retirement income. The IRS also may seize your property (including your car, boat, or real estate) and sell the property to satisfy the tax debt.”