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The rise and fall of American Maggie

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WATERTOWN — According to documents provided to the newspaper on Monday by a D.C.-based investigations firm, Republican congressional candidate Elise M. Stefanik owes $987.75 in back corporate fees to the state of Delaware in connection with American Maggie LLC, a consulting company she started in 2009 to foster the voices of conservative women.

At one point, American Maggie apparently included a blog. Its online presence seems to have died sometime in the fall of 2011. The last tweet from the company was on Sept. 8, 2011.

American Maggie is a limited liability company that was formed June 18, 2009 in Delaware.

LLCs are not taxed as business entities separate from the individual or individuals who create them. Profits and losses are passed through the company to each member of the LLC, who then reports them on his or her personal federal tax returns, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Ms. Stefanik, who listed $24,500 in income from American Maggie on her August 2013 financial disclosure statement, said she had no knowledge of the connection between her LLC and the Delaware Department of State.

Ms. Stefanik said that she had paid all taxes related to American Maggie on her federal income tax return, as is customary with LLCs, and that she did not know she owed money to the state of Delaware.

She said her accountant may have mistakenly incorporated American Maggie in Delaware. Many U.S. companies are incorporated in Delaware because of the state’s self-described “modern and flexible corporate laws.” Under federal law, LLCs are not subject to business taxes.

In Delaware, an annual fee of $250 is assessed on corporations formed there, according to Tamara Stock, chief of community relations for the Delaware Department of State.

American Maggie paid its annual fee to the state of Delaware in 2009 and 2010, according to Ms. Stock.

However, “It has not paid its yearly tax fee to the State of Delaware since then and is currently considered to not be in good standing in our State,” Ms. Stock said via email.

The balance of $987.75 is accurate because it’s $250 a year plus penalties and interest, Ms. Stock said. The penalty is $200 per year plus interest, she said.

If a business fails to pay its annual tax for three consecutive years, it is voided. American Maggie, which showed no business activity, was voided on June 1, 2013, according to department records.

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