Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another Indiana County Agrees To Contingency Fee Deal With Outfit To Ferret Out Tax Cheats Filing Fraudulent Homestead Claims

In Lafayette, Indiana, the Journal and Courier reports:

  • Homeowners are entitled to homestead credits on one property — their primary residence. But some property owners don’t always follow the law, so Tippecanoe County plans to find those who have two or more homestead credits here or in other counties in Indiana.

  • [T]he Tippecanoe County commissioners approved an agreement with SRI Inc. to ferret out those who have received more than one homestead credit. “We’ve done this for the last two years,” said Dawn Rivera, Tippecanoe County chief deputy auditor. “It allows the auditor’s office to bill for fraudulent claims for deductions. It allows them to bill for back taxes and a civil penalty of 10 percent.

  • The cost of doing this is SRI will charge 20 percent of the civil penalties that we collect,” Rivera told commissioners. “The civil penalty is 10 percent of the taxes.”

  • SRI currently is working with several Indiana counties to find inconsistencies and property owners who have more than one homestead credit, either in Tippecanoe County or in Tippecanoe County and another Indiana county.

  • We are working with 32 counties in this program right now,” said Glen Luedtke of SRI Inc. “Some of them have generated over $1 million.”

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