You perhaps have wondered how Republican Rep. Mickey Gates managed to avoid filing state income tax returns and paying amounts owed for years, particularly since he’s had tax liens filed against him over the years?

The Department of Finance and Administration doesn’t intend to answer that question at this time.

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What spokesman Scott Hardin said to my inquiries on the subject:

DFA is unable to provide comment on any specific individual’s tax status, filings, or tax information because of the confidentiality provisions of the Tax Procedure Act. Additionally, any questions regarding this case should be addressed to the Special Prosecuting Attorney.

DFA cannot provide information on “how” individuals fail to file their annual tax returns, but we do work to identify individuals who are failing to follow Arkansas law through our field audit office. Because of the specific case that is currently being referenced, we are unable to make generalizations regarding hypotheticals similar to this instance because of the Tax Procedure Act and the ongoing criminal case. 

I have asked for a record of prosecutions pressed by DFA on non-filing. No answer so far.

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I know the state and federal tax authorities swap information about filers so as to catch people who might file one place and not another. Did Gates file with the IRS? Don’t know. Interesting question with perhaps more to come.