Northland dance studio may be in danger of closing of its doors with large tax bill looming

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Stressful moments continue for the owner of a Northland dance studio. She says she`s been given just six days to come up with more than $32,000 in back taxes, or lose her licenses.

The dispute over Miss Dianna’s School of Dance taxes have been argued about for years. The issue made it all the way up to the Missouri Supreme Court.

The studio`s owner says she isn`t trying to get out of paying, but calls the ways she`s been treated unfair. The studio is getting ready for its first competition of the year, and at the same time, owner Dianna Pfaff has thousands of other things to focus on.

"It's close to impossible, but the show must go on," said Pfaff.

FOX 4 first told you about her studio in 2014, when Pfaff says she got a $73,000 bill for back taxes. The Missouri Department of Revenue said Pfaff was supposed to be collecting sales tax from her customers.

Pfaff says she never did because her dance studio was considered a place of education, which gave her an exemption. Up until that point dance studios weren't required to collect sales tax.

In January, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld that a dance studio is a place of amusement and recreation. Pfaff says Tuesday, she received a letter dated March 18, explaining that she`ll have until the 28th to pay more than $32,000 in full, or have her licenses revoked.

“I`m going to have to into my retirement. I`m going to have to cash in an annuities to pay this debt," said Pfaff.

She said she offered to pay $10,000 up front, but was told she couldn`t make a payment arrangement.

"I have to have it postmarked by no later than Friday because they want it due by Easter," said Pfaff.

She says the amount she`s being asked to pay isn`t even accurate, pertaining to amusement tax rate for 2010, 2011 years.

"The amount of money they're saying we owe is based on a sales tax rate, not an amusement tax rate, and it`s based on their estimation of our gross income for those two years," she said.

Pfaff said she submitted the proper paperwork to the Department of Revenue to make sure it had her correct income amount, but the department rejected the documents and sent them back to her.

As Pfaff looks ahead to the year`s first competition for her students, she does it will a lot of uncertainty about the studio`s future.

A DOR spokesperson said she could not legally comment on Pfaff's case, and did not answer whether the amount of time given to pay the entire amount is normal, nor would she indicate if it’s uncommon not to allow someone to have a payment arrangement for such a high amount.

If you’d like to help the studio, click on this link.