Republican gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen’s number one campaign issue is taxes. Allen, a state assemblyman, launched a ballot initiative to repeal California’s new gas tax, and has promised to cut state tax rates if elected. “Californians pay among the highest taxes in the entire nation,” he said in a video announcing his campaign.
But Allen himself failed to pay more than $42,000 in federal income tax for 2012 and 2013, public records show — and didn’t shell out until the Internal Revenue Service filed a tax lien against him earlier this year.
He paid the back taxes after getting hit with the lien in February 2017. The IRS released the lien in May, according to documents filed with the Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s office.
A spokeswoman for Allen’s campaign attributed the late taxes to a wrong address. Allen moved both his business and residential addresses in the last few years, she said.
“Due to this shuffle, tax notices were sent to a previous address and Assemblyman Allen did not receive them,” the spokeswoman said. “As soon as he was made aware of these issues, he remedied them immediately.”
His 2012 tax debt, $22,209.25, was assessed in November 2013, and his 2013 tax debt, $20,282.92, was assessed in July 2016 — for a total of $42,492.17 that Allen paid late.
The gubernatorial hopeful also failed to pay $269.48 in Orange County property taxes on his speed boat in 2016, and the county government filed a separate tax lien against him in November. That was lifted in February after he paid the taxes on the 2004 Yamaha 23-foot boat.
Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish said small-dollar property tax liens like the one on Allen’s boat are very common. “This could happen to anybody,” he said. “Thousands of people have these liens, and quite often they don’t know it.”
Allen, who represents parts of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Fountain Valley and Garden Grove, is an investment advisor and a certified financial planner.
A lien can hurt an individual’s credit, and can eventually lead to a government agency seizing a debtor’s property or wages. Before an IRS lien is publicly filed, a taxpayer usually gets a series of letters letting them know they’re delinquent in payments, said Timothy Hart, a tax lawyer in New York.
From these public documents, it’s not clear whether Allen paid any of his 2012 or 2013 federal income tax on time — a question his spokeswoman did not answer. In 2012, he made…