CLAREMONT – Claremont Schools face a $320,000 in penalties from the Internal Revenue Service for failing to comply with some requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
The IRS has informed the district it intends to impose a fine on the Claremont School District in the amount of $160,000 for failing to comply with the filing requirements, and an additional $160,000 for failing to provide full-time employees with certain forms and information as required by the Affordable Care Act.
After conducting a further inquiry, Acting Superintendent Cory LeClair and the SAU 6 board determined that the SAU 6 finance department failed to satisfy these filing requirements. The SAU 6 board is also aware that SAU 6, the Claremont school district and the Unity school districts each failed to meet other IRS filing requirements.
The SAU 6 Director of Business and Finance is responsible for assuring that the SAU and the school districts are in compliance with IRS reporting requirements. Michael O’Neil was the director during the relevant time period and is no longer employed by SAU 6. LeClair and the administrators remaining in SAU 6 are currently handling the responsibilities of the finance department in addition to their regular duties. The SAU is actively searching for a new director of business and finance.
The SAU 6 board has engaged legal counsel to prepare and file a request for a waiver of the fines resulting from the failure to satisfy the filing requirements. The SAU 6 board will retain an accounting firm to assure that the SAU and school districts are currently in compliance with all IRS requirements. Required filings for the last fiscal year will be filed with the IRS within the next few weeks.
The SAU 6 board released the following statement: “This is the second time this year that the SAU 6 Board has informed this community about a significant error that has resulted in a financial loss. Neither of these incidents should have happened. The checks and balances that were in place to oversee the districts’ finances were simply not adequate to identify these problems. The SAU 6 board, with the assistance of Acting Superintendent LeClair and the SAU 6 staff and administrators, has laid the groundwork for the new SAU administration to be able to assure greater oversight over the business and finance office. We are also determined to do everything possible to minimize the impact that these errors may have on the community. We are hopeful that the IRS will recognize that there is no public benefit to diverting local tax dollars intended to fund the education of Claremont and Unity students to pay a federal government penalty.”