Pennington County Commission approves $87k in penalties to IRS

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Pennington County Commissioners approved Tuesday to pay $87,140.63 in penalties to the IRS after an audit discovered errors with tax withholdings from paychecks.

According to the Summary of Employment Tax Examination report sent to the auditor’s office, discrepancies were found in payroll. The county paid employees twice a month but withheld taxes once a month. The report goes on to say amounts over $100,000 collected in taxes must be deposited by the next business day, regardless of pay schedules.

The audit covered years 2016-2018 and the penalty total incurred from each year.

  • 2016: $28,022.67
  • 2017:$29,286.70
  • 2018: $29,831.26

The report concludes by saying the county has made changes to payroll to address the error. Other items viewed in the audit involved use of county vehicles, clothing policies, housing allowance, and cell phone stipends. County auditor, Cindy Mohler says “there were not issues with these areas but the examiner advised that the County have a more defined cell phone policy” and adds a new policy is in the works.

Mohler says the report has been viewed by a local certified public accountant for appeal but was determined there were no grounds for appeal. A one year abatement for the penalties was requested but has yet to be settled.

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