Dam Diner could be sold for back taxes

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TOWNSHEND — The federal government is accusing a local diner owner of not paying more than $126,000 in corporate and personal income taxes.

According to a document filed by the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Stephanie Schryba-Knapp, the owner of the Dam Diner, "Despite notice of tax assessments ... and demand for payment, Townshend Dam Diner has failed, neglected or refused to fully pay the assessed liabilities ..."

The complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont and alleges for at least two years, Schryba-Knapp also failed to pay unemployment taxes withheld from the paychecks of employees.

According to tax liens filed by the IRS at Townshend Town Hall, liabilities against Schryba-Knapp relate to quarterly returns, corporate taxes and individual income taxes in a period extending from 2008 to 2015.

Schryba-Knapp told the Reformer she has no comment on the court filings at this time.

In addition, notes the document, "Townshend Dam Diner has not filed Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return for the 2015, 2016 or 2017 tax year [and] Townshend Dam Diner has repeatedly failed to pay taxes owed to the State of Vermont."

The tax liens filed in Townshend Town Hall also note that Schryba-Knapp owes the state of Vermont more than $42,000 in rooms and meals taxes. A call to the Vermont Tax Commissioner's Office was not returned as of press time.

Schryba-Knapp has been the owner of record of the Dam Diner since 1994 but has not filed an annual report with the Vermont Secretary of State's Office since its 1995 filing, states the document filed by Department of Justice.

"Townshend Dam Diner's business status is listed as inactive ..." notes the document.

The document also notes that "Townshend Dam Diner" has paid expenses related to the property, including mortgage interest, property taxes and utilities, and has also claimed federal tax deductions with respect to those bills, including depreciation.

The Department of Justice is asking that the federal court enter judgment in its favor and, if necessary, order that "the property be sold in a judicial sale ... and that the proceeds of the sale be distributed to the United States ..." to satisfy the outstanding tax liabilities.

Any money left over from the sale should be distributed to other parties who are owed money, notes the document, including the state and the bank that holds the mortgage.

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or raudette@reformer.com.

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