UPDATE (Fri., Jan. 11)— A spokesperson for the state's Dept. of Revenue says that a seizure order at Hi-Fi Pizza — imposed after a lunchtime raid on Tuesday— has been released after the owner "successfully worked out a payment agreement."
The popular Fields Corner eatery was shut down on Tuesday afternoon by state revenue officials and police, who entered the 1508 Dot Ave. storefront just after 12 p.m. on Tuesday. Department of Revenue official say that the action took place as a “last resort” after the pizza shop’s owners failed to pay a $26,559.89 tax bill that dates back to November 2005.
A large orange sign plastered with the words "SEIZED" was posted on the pizzeria's front door after agents changed the locks.
The sign read in part: "The business property of Axos Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Hi Fi Pizza has been seized for nonpayment of taxes, and is now in possession of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
Hi-Fi has been a popular dinner and late night restaurant in the Fields Corner business district for decades. It is owned by West Roxbury resident Prodomos Hatzistefanou, who could not be reached for comment. (The Boston Globe reports that Hatzistefanou intends to settle the bill and re-open.)
Ann Dufresne, a spokesperson for the state’s Department of Revenue, said that the seizure was a “standard procedure” that came after many attempts” to work with the taxpayer and work out a payment plan.” Dufresne said that the back taxes include levies for meals, withholding and corporate taxes to the state.
“Often times a seizure is released within days to weeks because the action has prompted the taxpayer to work out a payment agreement,” Dufresne said. “It can be re-opened instantaneously,” she said, if payment is made.
News of the raid— which was first reported by the Reporter at its website DotNews.com— prompted a strong reaction from fans of the restaurant, who shared the news on social networks.
One person commented on the Originally from Dorchester Facebook page: “Now there is no good pizza places EVER ANYWHERE!! This makes me sad.”
Another commenter on the Reporter’s Facebook page chimed in: “I was just up there Sunday !!! I will enjoy the 3 slices I have left.”