State revenue department closes Q-C funeral home

Posted Online: April 04, 2007, 12:00 am
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By Rita Pearson,

The Illinois Department of Revenue has closed Larson Funeral Home in Rock Island for failure to pay its sales taxes, but owner Chris Larson said he can continue to operate as long as he does does not sell funeral merchandise.

The Department of Revenue revoked the funeral home's business license March 26, but the state agency declined to disclose the amount of unpaid taxes or for how long the business has owed them, said Sue Hofer, department of revenue spokeswoman.

Mr. Larson's funeral director/embalmer license, issued by the Division of Professional Regulation, is unaffected by the department's action. He faces no disciplinary action.

"It's the funeral home's taxes that's the issue," she said.

The Department of Revenue tries to work with businesses to get back taxes paid, Ms. Hofer said. Revoking the funeral home's license is "a very drastic step."

Ms. Hofer said the business would remain closed until the company made good on its taxes and filed its tax return.

However, Mr. Larson said Wednesday the funeral home remains open for business and is only banned from selling merchandise.

"It was a misunderstanding," he said. "We thought they were working with us," on the question of back sales taxes until the state's representative arrived and posted the notice on the door.

Illinois does not tax professional services, but it does apply sales tax on merchandise, including caskets and vaults in the funeral business.

"Selling merchandise is only a part of what we do," Mr. Larson said.

He said he would seek clarification from the revenue department on whether he can continue his funeral business. He did not say how he could proceed with funeral services without selling caskets or vaults.

The Department of Revenue revoked Mr. Larson's certificate of registration, which means he is banned from selling "tangible personal property," Ms. Hofer said. "If he sells tangible personal property he is subject to a Class A misdemeanor."

A conviction on a Class A misdemeanor could bring a fine and up to 364 days in jail.

The Department of Revenue had place a "license revoked notice" on the main door of the business at 2106 7th Ave., Rock Island. That notice had been removed Wednesday morning when newspaper photographers sought to photograph the notice.

A woman answering the phone at the funeral home said the business office was closed Wednesday afternoon and would reopen Thursday morning.

The Revenue Department's sign could have been removed because the taxes had been paid or the owner removed the sign, Ms. Hofer said. "The department has been told that the sign is no longer up and they will follow up," she said.

Mr. Larson owns funeral homes in Rock Island and at 430 W. 2nd Ave, Milan. Mr. Larson said he has a possible buyer for the Milan location.

Last year, Mr. Larson's ex-wife, Mary W. Larson, won a settlement in Rock Island County Circuit Court for $136,318.43 for unpaid work she did at the funeral home and other unspecified expenses incurred during their six-year marriage. The Larsons' divorce was granted in March 2006.


Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

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1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.

(More History)