When paying taxes, individuals often assume they are putting their trust in skilled professionals who have the appropriate knowledge of tax laws and who will take care of their money. Unfortunately, this was not the case in one Pennsylvania town, as an audit of the local tax collector’s records revealed that there were many financial discrepancies pertaining to tax payments made by residents.
According to The Sentinel, George Hicks served as the tax collector for Carlisle Borough, Pennsylvania, for several years until instances of misappropriation were discovered within the tax records he maintained for the town. While the investigation is still ongoing, the errors that have been uncovered so far include residents making duplicate payments on their real estate taxes as well as checks being left uncashed. Local authorities say that these discrepancies will impact many residents and make it more difficult for them to file federal and state taxes as their records are not accurate.
“Last August I realized, after seeing the state of the George Hicks tax collection records and the absence of good bookkeeping practices in maintaining them, that taxpayers may continue to come forward with evidence of errors regarding payment status even after the 2012 tax bills are turned over to County Tax Claims this month,”stated Cumberland County Controller Al Whitcomb.
In a separate article, The Sentinel reports that an audit was first conducted after some residents complained that payments they had madefor their taxes were never processed. The investigation revealed that there was a total decrease of $51,000 in cash tax collections from the year before, the news source notes. So far, some individuals have received refunds for the inaccurate information, including one resident who was given back $775 after it was found he had made duplicate payments.