Anderson County treasurer explains tax payment
PALESTINE, Nov 14, 2012 (Palestine Herald-Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Anderson County commissioners heard a response from county treasurer Kim Turman Tuesday regarding the court's recent decision to seek an attorney general's opinion on the responsibilities of her office.
The decision to seek the opinion -- to determine if someone other than the treasurer can make federal tax deposits -- came after a closed session meeting on Sept. 24 to discuss a payroll tax payment due in April that was submitted to the IRS late, incurring penalty and interest payments required by the IRS.
On Tuesday, Turman told commissioners that the payment was not late, but a telephone payment made used a PIN number that was rejected due to a bank conversion by the county.
"The auditor's office sent over a deposit with PIN number for the automated system and that PIN number was still linked to the old bank account," Turman said. "The telephone payment was due on April 19 and made on that date.
"On April 23, we found out the payment had been rejected," she said. "We resubmitted it online on that same day, which was one day past the due date to the IRS."
Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston asked Turman who was responsible for the payment being drafted from the wrong account.
"We were given the PIN number by the auditor, and (my employee) was told to make the payment by telephone, while I usually make the payment online," Turman said. "(My employee) did everything right -- she made the payment on time."
Turman was attending a conference at the time the April payment was submitted, she said, and explained that she later found out that payments made by phone and online do not go through the same channels.
Johnston asked Turman if she had contacted the IRS and explained the situation to them.
"No one at the IRS would speak to me because I am not authorized to," she said. "They said if I got documentation signed by an appropriate person, that I would be allowed to discuss the issue with them"
County Auditor Karin Smith said she would sign a document to that effect.
"We need to do whatever we can to try to get this penalty waived," Johnston said.
According to Turman, as part of the payroll tax payment process, the auditor first prepares all payroll and audits it. Once completed, the auditor's office then e-mails Turman to let her know they are ready for checks to be printed.
"We print the checks, which are signed by the auditor and myself," Turman said. "Our office is responsible, at that point, for sorting and distributing the checks."
In the process, the auditor does payroll deductions and tax deposit and submits the information to the treasurer, who then makes the payment online.
"We give the auditor a confirmation and they prepare the payroll tax return at the end of each quarter," Turman said, adding that to enhance communication between the departments, requires paper notification from the auditor's office when payments are ready to be made.
Beginning in August, she now submits all payroll payments to the IRS online.
Also on Tuesday, the court:
--APPROVED budget amendments and bills.
--APPROVED the contract between the Department of State Health Services and Anderson County Clerk to be able to issue Birth Certificates from the State website and authorized Anderson County Clerk Wanda Burke to sign contract.
--APPROVED the Anderson County Resolution for Indigent Defense Grant Program.
--APPROVED the 2013 Holiday Schedule for Anderson County employees.
--APPROVED on the Commissioners Court calendar dates for the year 2013, which included changing the scheduled Dec. 20, 2013 meeting to Dec. 20, 2013.
--APPROVED Daniel Schnelle as a reserve officer for Precinct 1. Schnelle replaces another reserve officer who died.
--APPROVED the county's participation in the YMCA Wellness Partnership Program.
--MADE NO CHANGES to the 2013 Health Insurance plan, as Monday was the last day for the county to do so.
--APPROVED bids for fuel and road maintenance supplies for Operating Year 2013.
--APPROVED a land agreement between Precinct 3 and resident Joe Webb for the purchase of clay for $2 a yard and iron ore gravel for $4 a yard.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com
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