FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted 2-1 Tuesday to reimburse a retired employee $353.38 due to an incorrect W2 form.

Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay opposed the vote.

Shannon Smith of Wilton, who represented her husband, Albert Smith, requested the reimbursement. Her husband had worked for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department for 38 years, including as a transport officer for the jail, and retired in April.

Smith said her husband is not doing well health-wise and could not come to the meeting.

Unbeknown to her and her husband, the county issued a W2 that contained incorrect information, she said. She was upset about the lack of communication, she said.

The problem arose when the county changed accounting software programs in the middle of the 2012 calendar year. When Deputy Treasurer/Deputy Clerk Vickie Brailey went to issue W2 forms to employees, she noticed they were not correct. She and Treasurer Mary Frank consulted the county auditor and they made adjustments and thought everything was fine, Brailey said after the meeting.


The software program added another employee’s reductions to Smith’s information, she said. The other employee’s information remained correct. Smith was the only one affected, she said.

The auditor picked up on Albert Smith’s incorrect W2 form in August, she said. The county immediately issued a W2 correction form to Smith and sent a W3 correction form to the Internal Revenue Service and Maine Bureau of Revenue Services, she said.

Shannon Smith told commissioners that she was told by Commission Chairman Clyde Barker of Strong that they agreed in September to issue a check for $135 to cover the cost of having their taxes redone.

Commissioners did approve the money but asked that the check be held until the county received more paperwork from the Smiths accountant and a request from the Smiths, Frank said.

The county did receive a fax transmission from the Smiths accountant but did not get a request for what the Smiths wanted, Frank said.

The $135 check was ready for Smith on Tuesday and was in the financial warrant to be signed by commissioners that would release it, Brailey said.


In addition, Shannon Smith requested they be reimbursed $218.38 they were assessed by the IRS and Maine Bureau of Revenues Services in interest and late fees. The couple had paid those bills already.

Commissioners apologized to Smith for the $135 check not being issued and for the county issuing an incorrect W2 form.

However, McGrane said he didn’t think the penalty and fees should be the responsibility of the county. He told Smith that they should ask for a rebate from the state and federal government. They have 60 days to appeal the penalties and fees that were issued in October, he said. He also told Smith that it is each taxpayer’s responsibility to review tax information before they sign tax forms and send them in.

Shannon Smith said they thought the W2 was correct. With as many jobs as her husband had it would have been very difficult for them to pick up on it.

Commissioner Fred Hardy of New Sharon said he agreed it was up to individuals to make sure information is correct before they sign it and he would have probably missed it himself. But since it was basically a mistake made in the software change, the county should pay the bill, he said.

Barker agreed.

“I do feel we owe the money,” Barker said.

Brailey said after the meeting that she will check to see if the county can be reimbursed for the fees and interest.

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