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January 6, 2012

Cici’s closed in New Albany over sales tax payments

Businesses can retain sales certificate if taxes are paid

NEW ALBANY — Cici’s Pizza in New Albany has been ordered closed by the Indiana Department of Revenue because the department says the business failed to pay sales taxes.

A sign posted on the entrance to Cici’s — which is located in New Albany Plaza off State Street — stated the establishment does not hold a Registered Retail Merchant’s Certificate. IDOR spokesman Robert Dittmer said the merchant’s certificate — referred to by the state as a RRMC — expires for businesses who fail to pay sales tax.

“Once they have lost their RRMC they can no longer conduct any sales in Indiana because the RRMC allows them to collect and remit sales tax to the state,” he said.

Dittmer said he could not release the amount Cici’s owes the state, but added “this is not something that happens lightly.”

“If we were to interact with a taxpayer in such a way as to pull their RRMC, it would be because we have exhausted all of the efforts we have available to us [for the business] to pay back taxes that they owe the state,” he said.

Dittmer said earlier this week a business can apply for a new RRMC after the business has paid what it owes. During the process, the state can issue a warrant for the outstanding funds if they have not been paid.

“This is not like an arrest warrant, but more like a bill,” he said. “It is usually filed with the county clerk and can be sent to the county sheriff and/or to a collection agency for collection.”

The door to Cici’s was locked Friday, and no one answered the phone number listed for the business. Cici’s is a national corporation with headquarters in Coppell, Texas. A message left with Cici’s corporate headquarters Friday seeking comment had not been returned as of press time.

There are four other Cici’s in Indiana that have lost their RRMC recently according to the IDOR’s website. The Cici’s New Albany location was not included on the website, but Dittmer said previously the website is typically updated weekly.

According to the warning posted by the IDOR on Cici’s door, any retail transaction with the business while it does have a RRMC is considered a class B misdemeanor.

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