A Charleston City Council candidate owes almost $1 million to the IRS for outstanding federal tax liens but said it's her former accountant's fault.
District 1 candidate Angela Black Drake owes a cumulative $984,306.64 for a small business she operates, Charleston County documents show. The money is for unpaid federal income taxes.
Contacted last week by The Post and Courier, Drake said the liens were a "big surprise" and that her accountant addressed the issue several years ago. She refused to answer further questions about the liens.
Drake told WCBD-TV for a story Monday the liens stem from her accountant's failure to pay her taxes.
“I had hired an accountant to take care of my tax returns,” she told the station. “At one point I found out that those returns had not been filed.”
Drake is a real estate agent on Daniel Island.
Drake told the station she learned about the incident about a year and a half ago and that she was paying her accountant, but the money did not make it to the IRS.
“It’s something that I’m embarrassed about but it’s something that needed to be addressed,” she told the station, adding that she has since hired a new accountant and tax lawyer.
The IRS does not comment on the status of tax matters. Information provided by an IRS spokesman said that balances due can reflect unpaid taxes, penalties or interest. The information provided by the IRS said lien balances may not reflect the true amount owed.
A Post and Courier review of all Charleston mayoral and City Council candidates found Drake to be the only candidate with outstanding liens in Charleston or Berkeley counties as of Monday.
Drake is running against Marie Delcioppo on Nov. 5 for the District 1 seat held for years by Gary White, who is running for mayor instead of for re-election to council.
The seat covers Daniel Island and an eastern slice of downtown's historic district.