Sales tax permit suspended for Matsu Sushi
WESTPORT — Matsu Sushi has closed its doors yet again, this time for apparently failing to comply with Connecticut tax law.
A notice issued Oct. 4 in front of the Japanese restaurant on Jesup Road reads its sales and use tax permit has been suspended, meaning no sales can be made at the location.
According to Section 12-409(f) of the Connecticut General Statutes referenced on the sign, “Whenever any person fails to comply with any provision of this chapter relating to the sales tax or any regulation of the commissioner relating to the sales tax prescribed and adopted under this chapter, the commissioner ... may revoke or suspend any one or more of the permits held by the person.”
Phil Oliva, a spokesperson for Matsu Sushi, said the restaurant closed on Oct. 11 due to a tax dispute with the state.
“The owners are resolving it, and in light of the other business dispute the restaurant has temporarily closed,” Oliva said. “It’s planned to reopen in the coming days once it’s resolved.”
In recent months, the restaurant faced a decline in business due to an ongoing dispute with former workers, he explained.
“Basically the state was wondering why the sales tax remittance was lower than years past,” Oliva said. “We will show them the books and show them what the revenue is.”
This is the second time the eatery unexpectedly closed this year, the first being for renovations in April. Though it reopened in May with a new look, the restaurant is still dealing with old legal troubles.
Jiang and Ding, both residents of Queens, N.Y., were fired in 2017 for reportedly refusing to complete a 36-hour shift to finish a large lunch order from Bridgewater Associates. In October 2018, National Labor Relations Board Judge Kenneth W. Chu ruled the restaurant had illegally fired the workers and ordered them immediately reinstated.
However, the two were never reinstated. Several protests later, the two won a June 28 appeal made by Matsu’s owners. The labor board’s decision again stated the restaurant had to reinstate the employees within 14 days of the order.
But as of August, Ding and Jiang were still without jobs.
In an Aug. 26 statement, the owners said reports of worker exploitation were false and only meant to hurt the business’ reputation. At the time, Oliva said the owners are open to some form of settlement, but are prepared to challenge the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut this fall.
Includes previous reporting by DJ Simmons; firstname.lastname@example.org