Auditors selected to check Craighead County Clerk

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Craighead County have chosen auditors to review the County Clerk's Office.
The county has selected Goad and Company in Jonesboro to audit Craighead County Clerk Nancy Nelm's office.
The Craighead County Quorum Court met in August to discuss the latest money owed to the Internal Revenue Service. The problem started in early 2012. Over $250,000 of penalties and fines owed to the IRS. The latest monies owed is an additional $39,556.31. The court said it seems the IRS took a deposit from late 2011 and put it towards previous fines. Now Craighead County is being told they're behind on payments. Craighead County Clerk Nancy Nelms says she has proof otherwise.

"I do know we have facts that we did deposit that money and when it was deposited and when it was due and I just think they're wrong," Nelms said.

Nelms told Region 8 News that trying to clear things up with the Internal Revenue Service is taking a lot of time.

"It's just a long process and it's not something you're going to be able to get overnight," she said.

Nelms said a lack of understanding between her office and the IRS is making the problem more difficult to solve.

"They say this is all that you owe up to this date so I'm thinking this is all that we owe up until February, last part of February of this year and you'd think that would bring us up to that date, that this will clear you up," Nelms said. "Obviously, it wasn't."

Nelms did admit to making mistakes in the past, but said these latest claims from the IRS don't match up with her records.

"I was late with some 9-41 reports, but not all those years. I was late with very few of those and they're saying we're late with our payments and we weren't," she said.

Nelms said when she sends something in, she doesn't receive feedback in a timely manner, which is also making the problem more difficult to solve.

"Because I could've sent something in two months ago that they're just now looking at," Nelms explained.

Because of that, Nelms said it takes longer to realize that certain problems exist, such as the latest $39,000 owed. Irregardless, Nelms said the county has to pay up in three weeks or that balance will start adding on interest again.

"So, you know it's just like it's a snowball kind of thing," she said.

When we asked Nelms where that money was going to come from, she told us it would either come out of the county general fund or the county's unappropriated funds. She also said county residents will not be affected.

"We're not gonna lose any kind of services, we're not gonna ask for any tax increase," Nelms said. "It's not gonna affect the money that they've paid in or that they're gonna have to pay in."

Nelms also told Region 8 News she will work to appeal the fines the IRS has put on Craighead County in hopes of getting that money back.

"It may take years to do it. But as long as I'm here I will work on it," Nelms said.

The Craighead County Quorum Court still plans on having an outside firm review Nelms' office to help ensure this kind of problem with the IRS doesn't happen again. They hope to start that process by next week.

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