BCSO’s vehicles not in IRS findings
by By JOYANNA LOVE Banner Staff Writer
Aug 13, 2013 | 1398 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bradley County Sheriff’s Office take-home vehicles were not among those listed in findings of a recent IRS audit for 2010.

An article published in the Aug. 8 edition of the Cleveland Daily Banner erroneously reported that they were among the county vehicles included.

A recent IRS audit of 2010 listed three findings. Each finding is being addressed, according to Lynn Burns, Bradley County finance director. None of the three involved the BCSO.

Five take-home vehicles were a concern in one finding.

“Basically, under IRS standards these do not qualify as take-home vehicles without a fringe benefit attached to their W-2,” Burns said in a recent finance committee meeting.

Three were used by Emergency Management Agency personnel. In 2010, according to Burns, the vehicles had used magnetic markings. Burns said these EMA vehicles will be permanently marked as emergency vehicles and continue to be used as take-home vehicles. EMA director Troy Spence said the vehicles are permanently marked with emergency tags.

The other two were used by on-call Bradley County Juvenile Court employees. Juvenile Court director Terry Gallaher said the department was waiting on the Bradley County Mayor’s Office to reveal how much money would be required to be withheld as a fringe benefit tax. Gallaher said the decision on whether to continue taking the vehicle home and paying the additional tax would be up to each employee. One vehicle is used by Gallaher. The other is used by an on-call juvenile detention youth services officer.

Emergency on-call personnel are not required to claim a fringe benefit for take-home vehicles.

Other concerns were related to FICA withholdings for beer board members and election workers. Previously, these board members received a 1099 tax document to record income if they made more than $600. No FICA taxes were withheld. Under IRS guidelines, FICA taxes are required to be withheld for these board members because they are appointed by the Bradley County Commission. Members of the beer board will now be issued a W-2 and FICA taxes will be withheld.

Board members will have their 1099 income statement for 2010 replaced with a W-2 income statement.

Election commissioners are on the county payroll and already have FICA taxes withheld. However, the IRS auditor said election workers should also have FICA withheld because those who work multiple elections could earn enough to qualify for this form of taxation.

“Even if they work [only] one election, they have to be on the payroll,” Burns said.

In 2010, there were 15 election workers who worked multiple elections and made more than the $1,500 threshhold, requiring a W-2 income statement.

When FICA taxes are taken out of a payroll check, the county has to match these funds.

“So it’s an additional cost to the county,” Burns said. “We are going to be working up an estimate and going back to the finance (committee) and the Commission to request additional funding.”

Burns said 2010 corrected tax documents will be provided for individuals affected.