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penalties for failure to file return

When any person fails to file a personal property return as required, the county auditor shall add the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) to the tax installment next payable by such person. Plus an additional 20% of taxes due. [IC 6-1.1-37-7(d)]

organization of office

The treasurer is the custodian of all money belonging to the county.

The treasurer shall receive all money coming to the county, and disburse the same on the proper orders issued and attested by the county auditor. [IC 36-2-10-9] The treasurer shall give to any person paying money to him/her as treasurer a receipt therefore, which receipt, except for taxes (or special collections), shall be deposited by such person with the county auditor, who shall give such person a quietus for the same. [IC 36-2-9-12 and 36-2-10-10]

optical imaged checks

IC 5-15-6-3 states in part “…‘original records’ includes the optical image of a check…” The State Board of Accounts is of the audit position both sides of a check are part of the original record. Therefore, both sides of an “optical imaged check” should be available for public inspection and audit.

Encoding, printing or bank certification should exist to ascertain that the back side of a check is part of a particular check, i.e., endorsements belong to the front side of a check presented.

officials' signature on claims, warrants, and other official documents

The State Board of Accounts is often asked to approve the use of rubber stamps or other devices for affixing facsimile signatures of public officials on claims, warrants, and other official documents. The decision as to whether or not the number of documents to be signed justifies the use of a rubber stamp or other device for affixing his/her signature must be made by each official. Since each official is responsible for his/her signature, rubber stamp or other signing device should be used only under the closest direction of the official and must be properly safeguarded when not in use.

official bonds

Indiana Code 5-4-1-18 provides that the following county and township officers and employees shall file individual surety bonds:

1. Auditors, treasurers, recorders, surveyors, sheriffs, coroners, assessors and clerks.

2. Township trustees and assessors

3. Those employees directed to file an individual bond by the fiscal body of the county.

The fiscal body of the county or township may, by ordinance, authorize the purchase of a blanket bond or a crime insurance policy endorsed to include faithful performance to cover the faithful performance of all employees, commission members, and persons acting on behalf of the county or township including those listed above. The fiscal body of the respective units shall fix the amount of the bond of the county treasurers, sheriffs, circuit court clerks, township trustees and conservancy district financial clerks as follows:

1. The amount should equal thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for each one million dollars ($1,000,000) of receipts of the officer’s office during the last complete fiscal year before the purchase of the bond provided.

2. The amount of the bond may not be less than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) nor more than three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) unless the fiscal body approves a greater amount for the officer or employee. The county council shall fix the amount of the county auditor’s bond at not less than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000).

The amount of the bond of any other person required to file an individual bond shall be fixed by the fiscal body of the unit at not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

IC 5-4-1-8 provides that official bonds of officers if sufficient shall be approved as follows:

1. Sheriff, coroner, recorder, auditor, treasurer, and clerk of the circuit court, by the county executive.

2. County assessor, township trustee, and township assessor, by the county auditor.

3. Other county officers required to give bonds, by the clerk of the circuit court unless otherwise specified.

A person who approves an official bond shall write the approval on the bond.

monthly financial statement

The Monthly Financial Statement, Form 61, is a permanent record prepared from the treasurer's funds ledger at the close of each month. It is prepared after all postings to the ledger have been completed for the month and reflects the total receipts and disbursements and the balance for each fund for the month and for the year to date. The statement must agree with a similar statement kept by the county auditor, giving consideration to any adjustments required to reconcile the ledgers of the two offices.

monthly financial report (form 47TR)

On or before the 16th day of each month the treasurer shall prepare a report showing the financial condition of the office as of the close of business on the last day of the preceding month. This report shall show the amounts with which the treasurer is chargeable for the various funds and accounts, the amounts with which the treasurer is credited for money on deposit, invested and cash on hand, and any long or short at the close of each month. The report also provides space for reconcilement with depositories. [IC 36-2-10-16]

mobile home permit for moving or transferring title

A mobile home may not be moved from one location to another unless the owner or the occupier obtains a permit to move the mobile home from the county treasurer. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles may not transfer the title to a mobile home unless the owner obtains a permit to transfer the title from the county treasurer. A county treasurer shall issue a permit which is required to either move or transfer the title to a mobile home if the taxes due on the mobile home have been paid. [IC 6-1.1-7-10] If a permit is to be issued after midnight, January 15 (January 1st beginning 2017), the taxes due and payable May 10 and November 10 of that year must be paid along with any taxes payable in preceding years before a permit can be issued. The State Board of Tax Commissioners prescribes State Form No. 7878, Mobile Home Permit, for handling such transactions. The permit shall state the date it was issued. A mobile home cannot be moved more than one month after the date of issuance of the permit. [IC 6-1.1-7-11] A county may establish a fee for issuing such permits if it adopts a Home Rule Ordinance establishing the fee in accordance with IC 36-1-3-1 et seq. All fees shall be deposited into the county general fund.

minimum tax bill

A property tax liability of less than five dollars ($5) is increased to five dollars ($5). The difference between the actual liability and the five dollar ($5) amount that appears on the statement is a statement processing charge. The statement processing charge is considered a part of the tax liability. [IC 6-1.1-22-9]

levy and sale - personal property

The county treasurer has the duty to enforce the collection of delinquent personal property taxes, including taxes on mobile homes. Annually, after November 10 and prior to the first day in August of the succeeding year, each treasurer shall serve a written demand by registered or certified mail, delivered in person by the treasurer or by the deputy, or by proof of certificate of mailing, upon every resident of the county who has not paid the personal property tax. The demand shall contain a statement that the taxpayer is delinquent in the payment of taxes, the amount of the delinquency with the penalties and the cost of the demand, and that if such amount is not paid within thirty (30) days from the date of the demand sufficient personal property of the taxpayer shall be sold to satisfy such amount or that a judgment may be entered against him/her in the circuit court as provided in IC 6-1.1-23-9. The demand must be signed by the county treasurer or a designee of the county treasurer. [IC 6-1.1-23-1]

innkeeper's tax

The county fiscal body may adopt an ordinance to require innkeeper's tax be reported on forms approved by the county treasurer and that the tax be paid monthly to the county treasurer. If such an ordinance is adopted, the tax shall be paid to the county treasurer not more than twenty (20) days after the end of the month the tax is collected. If such an ordinance is not adopted, the tax shall be imposed, paid, and collected in exactly the same manner as the state gross retail tax is imposed, paid, and collected. All the provisions of the state gross retail tax [IC 6-2.5] relating to the rights, duties, liabilities, definitions and administration shall be applicable to the imposition and administration of the tax except to the extent such provisions are in conflict or inconsistent with the requirements of the county treasurer. [IC 6-9] 6-12 If your county fiscal body adopts such an ordinance, we recommend you contact the State Department of Revenue for guidance on the type of form to use in collecting such tax. The county treasurer must approve form.

The collection allowance for innkeeper’s tax is .83%.


Reports are pulled off the BMV ftp site on the internet showing fund breakdown.

inheritance tax

Inheritance tax has been repealed. Quarterly reports for Inheritance Tax payments for decedents who died before January 1, 2013 still need to be prepared and filed. Whenever the court finds inheritance tax due on any case before it, Form 9-1950, Order Determining Value of Estate and Amount of Tax, is made out by the court and forwarded to the treasurer. This form lists the amount of tax to be collected by the treasurer. Any person paying inheritance tax to the treasurer should first obtain an Order. If such tax is paid within nine (9) months from date of death; a discount of five percent (5%) shall be allowed and deducted there from. If such tax is not paid within twelve (12) months from date of death, interest shall be charged and collected thereon at the rate of ten percent (10%) per annum, from the date of death to date of payment. [IC 6-4.1-9-1; 6-4.1-9-2]

(Quarterly reporting requirement would be removed if SB 308 passes the 2016 Session)

drainage assessments

The Indiana Drainage Code, IC 36-9-27, governs the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of ditches and drains. The "Accounting Manual for Public Drainage Funds" prepared by the State Board of Accounts, a copy of which should be available in your office, should be consulted on all questions pertaining to drainage funds. Some counties have flat rates that all taxpayers pay and some counties assess taxpayer based on the dich or drain on their property.

deposits of public funds

IC 5-13-6-1(c) requires public finds to be deposited in the same form in which they were received.

The following guidelines are recommended for compliance with this section of the law:

(1) The cashing of employee payroll checks and employee personal checks should be prohibited.

(2) Checks received in the mail in amounts which are over the amounts due a county for taxes and special assessments shall be applied to the amount of taxes and special assessments due and the remainder applied to the Surplus Tax Fund in accordance with IC 6-1.1-26-6.

(3) Each County Treasurer should establish his/her own policy on receiving overpayments for taxes in the form of checks or money orders paid in person by taxpayers. If checks are made out in error for minimal amounts over the tax liability, change could be given back to the taxpayer for the difference. However, we do not recommend making change for taxpayers whose checks are in excesses of the taxes due by large amounts.

(4) Each County Treasurer should establish his/her own policy on whether or not they accept checks for deposit which are made payable to other county departments i.e. checks made payable to the County Health Department.

(5) Overpayments from companies who act as escrow agents for tax payers shall be deposited in the Surplus Tax Fund in accordance with IC 6-1.1-26-6. If it is not practicable to identify the individual components of the amount overpaid by parcel number before the next settlement of taxes, the entire amount could be carried on line 53 of the Treasurer’s Daily Balance of Cash and Depositories, County Form No. 47, until such time as the individual components can be applied by taxpayer and taxing district. Refunds cannot be made until after the overpayments are recorded in the Surplus Tax Fund Ledger and turned over to the County Auditor. As stated in prior articles in this publication, the Surplus Tax Fund Ledger may be turned over to the County Auditor at any time other than at each semi-annual settlement.

deposit of public funds

The depository law in IC 5-13-6-1 provides that public funds (funds on hand exceeding $500) paid into the treasury of any political subdivision shall be deposited not later than the business day following the receipt of funds on business days of the depository in one or more depositories in the name of the political subdivision. It is extremely important that the provisions of this law be strictly followed. IC 5-13-14-3 provides "A public officer who violates the depository duties in this article is subject to criminal prosecution under IC 35-44.2-2-1. The public servant also is liable upon the public servant’s official bond for any loss or damage that accrues.”.

Public funds deposited shall be deposited in the same form in which they were received. All local investment officers shall reconcile at least monthly the balance of public funds, as disclosed by the records of the local officers, with the balance statements provided by the respective depositories. [IC 5-13-6-1]