- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

LEESVILLE, La. (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service has slapped the city of Leesville with more than $400,000 in fines and penalties as a result of failure to properly file W-2 forms in 2010.

Records obtained by the American Press (https://bit.ly/1eOXZNb ) through the Freedom of Information Act show Leesville owes just over $403,000 for overdue taxes.

City Administrator Courtney Christian said City Hall received the invoice in late August, with no explanation as to how the fees were incurred.

“What that number reflects is the amount of W-2s that needed to be filed with the IRS, and there is a penalty for each one of those W-2s,” she said. “Then in addition to that, there’s a 10 percent penalty on the number of wages that were to be reported.”

The city has been fined $250 for each of its 183 employees, plus interest from the 2010 year. The invoice sent to the city was a form CP171 - typically used to remind entities of taxes, penalties and fees owed - and does not usually serve as a first-time notice, according to the IRS website.

Mayor Rick Allen said this was the first notice the city has received of the fine and that officials could not locate any other notice in its mail log. Allen said he is hopeful that the city can negotiate a lower penalty.

“We feel very confident that our team will be able to get this number drastically reduced. The city of Leesville does not have a history of wrongly (filing) or not filing our tax papers,” he said. “So we feel very confident that the IRS is going to work with us.”

Allen said the city attorney is preparing a response to the IRS. If the city fails to reply in a timely manner, interest on the fines could continue to accrue. The error would have happened prior to Allen’s administration, which was sworn in earlier this year.

A spokesman for the IRS said she could not comment on specifics due to disclosure laws and regulations.

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Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com

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