Republican frontrunner Herman Cain, who has built his support among party activists with his anti-tax message and controversial 9-9-9 tax plan, has called the IRS an "overseer" and compared taxation to slavery.
"Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery," says Cain in a recent campaign video. "In a Herman Cain administration, April 15 will no longer be a day to be dreaded."
Perhaps some of Cain's anti-tax fervor can be traced to his own past encounters with the taxman. According to documents obtained by ABC News, in February 2008, the Georgia Department of Revenue hit Cain and his wife Gloria with a lien for $8558.46 in unpaid personal income taxes from 2006.
Cain's campaign was quick to point out to ABC News that Cain was undergoing treatment for Stage 4 cancer in 2006. A Cain spokesman said that due to his illness, Cain had requested -- and was granted -- a six-month extension of his federal taxes and had requested the same from the state, which Georgia allows.
Nevertheless, the state sent a delinquency notice to Cain in late 2007 and filed the lien in early 2008. Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said Cain's accountant had protested the delinquency to no avail.
"Mr. Cain responded in a timely manner to the delinquency notice sent by the Georgia Department of Revenue but was unable to stop the process that ultimately led to the filing of the tax lien," said Gordon. Documents show the lien was removed in November 2008.
The Cain campaign didn't resist an opportunity Wednesday to use the candidate's personal tax struggles to reinforce his anti-tax credentials.
"The experience serves as an example of how broken our federal and state bureaucracies are with respect to the collection of revenue," Gordon told ABC News. "The entire process is driven by automated letters generated in response to deadlines."