Restauranteurs who already have a sour taste in their mouth about mandatory sick leave, letter grading, and wage crackdowns can add this to the list of unsavory developments: The tax man is getting more bullish about auditing cash businesses such as bars and demanding they produce all of their guest checks. Operators object that they often dont use guest checks in the first place, and when the state proposes a settlement, its often not in the bounds of reality.
The owner of Mothers in Buffalo tells WGRZ, "The methods they use are very similar to methods that were used by La Cosa Nostra ... also known as the mob. What they do is come up with a figure that will really scare you then they settle for a lesser figure so basically it's an extortion practice which is really quite effective because the figures they come up with are pretty scary. Supples was able to avoid paying the $1.8 million he was told he owed going back six years by taking his case before the State Tax Tribunal, which ruled in his favor: It found that for Supples to have done the volume of business and made the kind of money the state had estimated, every table in his restaurant would have had to have been full for eleven hours a day, seven days a week, for six years.