County hires attorney to tackle IRS issue

A tax attorney has been put on retainer for Lewis County in hopes of negotiating penalties and late fees in the amount of $108,641.49.

In an update to committees, Mayor Keltner presented information that a William O’Reilly of the Internal Revenue Service approached his office offering a waiver of penalties.

If Lewis County had paid $48,641.49 by Friday, October 4, 2019, $60,000 in penalties would be waived, O’Reilly told Blair Scott in the mayor’s office.

After consultation with the Budget Committee, Mayor Keltner requested the agreement in writing.  O’Reilly refused saying the appeal still had to be approved by two higher ranking supervisors within the IRS.  “One of the team could determine the county does indeed still owe the penalties that he was offering to waive,” the mayor wrote.

“This was completely shocking and upsetting to us,” the mayor added in the letter to the commission.  Lewis County did not accept the offer.

Gary Dettloff, founder and tax attorney at the Center for Tax & Strategic Planning was retained at a cost of $3,500, estimating 10 hours of work, out of court.  If he works less than 10 hours, the county would be refunded the balance.


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