Audit: IRS Slaps Sevier County with Expensive Fine


Federal officials recently penalized Sevier County with a fine of nearly $45,000 for not complying with IRS regulations.

This, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released Wednesday.

County officials, of course, will have to pay the fine with taxpayer money.

As prior reporting shows, the IRS has fined many other Tennessee counties for not complying with federal regulations.

As for Sevier County, the problem had to do with a bank account local officials use to deposit employee payroll taxes.

“The IRS was not properly notified of a payroll tax deposit made on January 29, 2018. Since the IRS was not notified of the deposit, the funds were not withdrawn by the IRS until April 6, 2018,” according to the audit.

“This delay in payment, resulted in the assessment of interest and penalty by the IRS totaling $43,734.34. The assessments were paid to the IRS on August 30, 2018. This deficiency resulted from a lack of management oversight.”

In a written response, the county mayor blamed an error within the IRS system that prevented the payment from processing.

“Once Sevier County was aware of the error, a payment was immediately re-submitted to the IRS, but not before a significant amount of penalties and interest had been assessed,” the county mayor wrote.

“At this time Sevier County entered into the appeals process with the IRS. There has been negotiation between the County and IRS that has not yet been resolved.”

As The Tennessee Star reported last year:

• Rockwood, Tennessee’s public utility officials didn’t file the proper Obamacare forms with the Internal Revenue Service on time, and now the utility must pay the feds more than $25,0000 in penalty costs.

• The IRS assessed nearly $400,000 in penalties and interests against the Maury County School Department.

• The IRS fined Jackson County officials a sum of $86,147 for failing to comply with Obamacare. That penalty money, of course, came from county taxpayers.

• The Grundy County School System had to pay more than $34,000 in penalties to the IRS for not complying with Obamacare.

• Hancock County officials did not remit two payroll tax deposits to the Internal Revenue Service, which caused an assessment of interest and penalties totaling more than $2,000.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Sevier County Courthouse” by Brent Moore. CC BY 2.0.





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