New Madrid Co. making progress after 2020 audit

New Madrid County making progress after 2020 audit found unpaid payroll taxes cost county...
New Madrid County making progress after 2020 audit found unpaid payroll taxes cost county taxpayers more than $50,000.
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 11:16 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 11:19 AM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - On Oct. 13, State Auditor Nicole Galloway released her follow up review of New Madrid County.

The review was the result of a report issued in December 2020 that found state payroll tax withholdings, totaling $382,047, were not received by the state for more than five years.

This resulted in more than $50,000 in interest costs to New Madrid County.

The follow-up review determined the county has corrected the payroll tax problem, improved procedures to help prevent it from happening in the future and has begun implementing other recommendations in the 2020 audit.

“New Madrid County officials have begun the process of ensuring adequate checks and oversight in their processes so that mistakes like this are less likely to occur in the future,” Auditor Galloway said. “I urge the county to complete the implementation of all of our audit recommendations to give taxpayers confidence in their government.”

Auditors discovered that lack of oversight for the county clerk’s payroll duties and records allowed the payroll tax issue to occur and go undetected from 2013 until 2018.

The county clerk indicated his office prepared payments for payroll tax withholdings, but mailed them to an incorrect address.

The county treasurer did not routinely follow up on 31 outstanding checks, totaling $209,945 related to state payroll tax withholdings.

By 2019, when the payroll tax issue was resolved, the county had accrued $51,333 in interest charges from the state Department of Revenue (DOR).

In their follow-up review, auditors found that the county clerk is performing documented reviews to ensure state payroll tax withholdings are remitted and monthly reports are filed timely with the DOR.

The county treasurer has implemented procedures to investigate outstanding checks, and the county clerk and County Commission are reviewing and signing the monthly bank reconciliations and monthly settlements prepared by the county treasurer.

Of the 18 audit recommendations reviewed as part of this report, 12 have been implemented or partially implemented, three are in progress and three remain not implemented.

A copy of the audit can be found here.

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