28/02/2024

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Wichita tax business agrees to pay penalties and other fees

Wichita tax business agrees to pay penalties and other fees

The owner of a north Wichita accounting business has agreed to $120,000 in penalties and other fees after delaying or not filing taxes for at least 16 customers, the Sedgwick County district attorney said Thursday.

Nicole Clem, the owner of Bookkeeping and Beyond at 10333 E. 21st St., will also refund customers whose 2021 taxes were filed late or had to be filed with another accounting service and reimburse customers who had to pay the IRS late fees. Additionally, the owner’s business has a one-year probation with the DA’s Consumer Protection Division.

“The business cooperated with the investigation and has already begun the process of notifying potentially impacted consumers,” a news release from the DA’s office says. “The consent judgment also calls for a permanent injunction from engaging in deceptive or unconscionable acts and cooperation with any future complaints.”

Clem did not respond to a call Thursday morning.

The business has a 4.3 rating out-of-5 stars on Google reviews based on feedback from 77 people. All of the reviews are either 5 stars or 1, which is the lowest possible.

People who gave one star talked about using Clem’s services and never having their taxes filed and not being able to get an answer from Clem about the delay. They also mentioned having to use other accounting businesses and having to pay late fees because of the delay.

Josh Fleming edited his original post after saying he went 182 days without any “information about my return … No proof it was filed. Nothing. Something is not right here.”

The edit says he “just spent 2 hours on the phone with the IRS and my taxes were never filed.”

The review was done roughly a year ago.

The business does not appear to be registered with the Kansas secretary of state.

The DA’s office recommended the following steps for someone looking to have someone do their taxes:

  • Have the scope of work and all promises in writing with agreed-upon deadlines
  • Research the business. One good resource is to see if it’s listed in the Better Business Bureau.
  • When filing taxes electronically the Internal Revenue Service indicates a refund should be received within three weeks. For more information about filing taxes visit irs.gov/filing/individuals/how-to-file

This story was originally published January 4, 2024, 10:47 AM.

Michael Stavola covers breaking news at The Wichita Eagle. He was a finalist for the prestigious Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2022. He’s also won several national, regional and state awards during his seven-plus years of working at newspapers in Kansas. He finished his MBA at Wichita State University in spring 2020.