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Crystal resumes legal liquor sales post-suspension

The Crystal reopened Tuesday after late-filed tax returns showed the state owed the bar more than $14,000 — after it was shut down last week because of unpaid taxes.

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission suspended The Crystal’s liquor license indefinitely Sept. 22, 2008, because it owed $38,534.71 in corporate franchise taxes — but that didn’t stop The Crystal from selling alcohol in the time since.

On April 12, the state said the bar, 34 N. Court St., owed $19,516.89 based on interest and fees yet collected, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Because of this, The Crystal was shut down April 8 after liquor enforcement agents received a complaint that the bar was selling alcohol illegally.

But recently processed tax returns filed from previous years showed that the bar would receive a credit of $14,672.67 from the state, said Dan Tierney, spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

After the numbers were processed yesterday, the commission issued a nunc pro tunc order to the bar, said Julie Hinds, spokeswoman for the Ohio Investigative Unit.

A nunc pro tunc order, meaning “now for then,” is an action by a trial court correcting a clerical error in a prior judgment.

“The (more than) $19,000 owed by The Crystal was based on estimates because they had not yet filed tax returns,” Tierney said.

Although Gary Gudmundson, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Taxation, said he could not comment on which years the bar did not file its tax returns, he added that it was part of the reason the bar was issued a suspension.

“We did catch them (for not filing their tax returns), and that’s (part of the reason) they were suspended,” Gudmundson said.

By law, if the department sees that a business fails to file a tax return or pay taxes when due, and the behavior repeats itself in two subsequent filing periods or three times during a 12-month period, then the department can suspend its license, he added.

The owner of The Crystal could not be reached for comment.

Although The Crystal has tax credit with the state, its owner will have to apply for the refund, Tierney said.


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