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Williamsport faces $160K penalty over 2017 taxes

A forensic municipal financial expert and accountant working on behalf of the city of Williamsport discovered the city is in a civil penalty phase for $160,000 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Tracey Rash, with Government Finance Solutions, recently told City Council’s finance committee of her discovery and other problematic areas in financial paperwork, much of which she said should be put into a digital format as she found it in piles.

“The IRS did not receive the 2017 W-2, 1095 and 1094 forms they said they sent,” Rash said.

Rash said she found the materials while checking old City Hall, which remains closed and condemned.

“I found an IRS notice on the pile on a desk with penalties for the fourth quarter of 2021 of around $12,000,” she said.

After contacting the tax agency, she noted there were three penalty notices outstanding, including one from 2017, which, she said, had never been responded to.

“You are now in a civil penalty phase for $160,000 and out of the appeals process,” Rash said.

Two other outstanding issues with the agency were resolved, she said.

“Apparently, the patient is in critical condition and we are doing triage right now,” Councilman Randall J. Allison said.

Council reviews tonight on its agenda whether to contract with Government Finance Solutions.

Rash could be paid using the remainder of the former interim finance director’s salary for the year, but Councilwoman Liz Miele, committee chair, said she also would like to see a plan for when that funding runs out.

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