U.S. Rep. Tom Graves and state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers paid off a $1,498 lien Friday, filed by the Internal Revenue Service against their company.
The lien, filed in Gordon County Superior Court on Monday, targeted missing W-2 paperwork for one quarter of 2007. Taxes are up to date for Tich Properties LLC, which Rogers and Graves own.
"I'm glad to say that this matter has already been fully resolved. I do want to make one thing clear — this issue was only about missing forms, and not at all about unpaid taxes," Graves said. "According to the IRS, all taxes had been paid on time. As far as the forms go, the CPA had filed them on two separate occasions and actually hand-delivered the forms for the third time today.
Unfortunately, this is just another example of the bureaucratic barriers that stand in the way of small businesses across America."
Tich Properties' accountant talked to IRS officials on Thursday and found out the lien was a result of the missing W-2 paperwork. The 6721 designation on the lien paperwork indicates the penalty is for missing documentation, according to IRS code.
"IRS records show that you have paid taxes on the wages that appear below," the form reads. "However, (the Social Security Administration) does not have a record of processing your Forms W-2 and W-3 for these wages. IRS requires you to send Forms W-2 to SSA."
When the Social Security Administration asked Tich Properties' payroll company to resubmit paperwork in 2008 and 2009, it did not, and no other correspondence occurred until now, according to Graves' press office.
According to IRS policy, the Social Security Administration turns over liens to the IRS when paperwork hasn't been completed in two years.
Stamped as received by Atlanta's IRS office Friday, the paperwork shows that the two resubmitted copies of the W-2 forms.
"I even said today I'd go ahead and pay the penalty so there's no question. I hope once the paperwork clears up, they'll reimburse it," Rogers said Friday evening. "We contend 100 percent that we don't owe this penalty because they're the ones who lost the documents."
When Tich Properties' accountant hand-delivered the forms Friday afternoon, the lien was cleared, Rogers said.
"Our payroll service accountant is giving us a sworn statement that we've never been late on payments," Rogers added.
Graves and Rogers are still addressing a Bartow County Bank lawsuit that targets Tich Hospitality, which they created under Tich Properties and sold to John Edens in November 2009. The bank filed for foreclosure in January 2010 on Calhoun motel Oglethorpe Inn, which Edens bought as part of Tich Hospitality. The bank is going after a $2.2 million business loan that is now in default.
"When we sold the company, the buyer assumed all debts, as stated in the closing documents, so the new owner owes the money," Rogers said Friday. "We were included in the lawsuit because we guaranteed the original note, but we've been negotiating with the bank to refinance with the current owner and get our names off."