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|Towns seeking rebates on IRS penalties|
The towns of Ridgecrest and Vidalia hope to recoup a portion of the penalties recently paid the Internal Revenue Service in past due payroll taxes.
Ridgecrest Mayor Dwayne Sikes said Tuesday the town council voted late week to pay in full payroll taxes totaling $28,109.75
"I drove to Alexandria on Thursday and handed the IRS a check for the total amount due," Sikes said.
Town Clerk Shannon Beatty said the taxes due were for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2010 and 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.
The town's CPA, Jeri Sue Tosspon, will seek reimbursement of some of the penalties paid.
Sikes said the past due taxes had not been paid by the previous administration.
In Vidalia. Mayor Hyram Copeland said he has been working with the IRS during the past weeks in hopes of receiving a rebate on the penalty portion of a tax bill the town settled a few weeks ago.
A lien filed by the IRS on Sept. 18 indicated the town owed payroll taxes dating back to 2006. Copeland said the town paid the bill and lien was removed by the IRS.
The mayor said he was unaware that the taxes had not been paid until the lien was filed.
Former Vidalia city manager Ken Walker said in October he was responsible for the failure to pay the IRS the past due tax bill of $635,412.76.
Walker blamed the failure on "a series of errors."
Copeland said about half of the total due the IRS included penalties and interest. Two certificates of deposit were cashed in to pay the debt.
He said this week the IRS is still considering rebating the town some of the penalty portion paid.
"We believe we will work something out," he said.
Meanwhile, Sikes said Tuesday that Ridgecrest borrowed the funds to pay its IRS bill from its road account after learning from its CPA and auditors that it was legal to do so.
He said the town had previously borrowed $15,000 to pay for its 2010 audit prepared by Silas & Simmons of Natchez in which a number of findings were made pointing to misuse of town funds by the previous administration.
"These and other costs are going to have to be paid back," Sikes said. "We don't generate much money in our town, and although we're getting our bills paid, we're going to have to do something at some point to generate some income."
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