Denver risking tax dollars by “ineffectively” auditing marijuana businesses, city auditor alleges

Denver risking tax dollars by “ineffectively” auditing marijuana businesses, city auditor alleges

Denver’s process for auditing marijuana businesses is inadequate and has potentially cost the city countless tax dollars allocated for public service programs, the city auditor alleged Thursday. In a scathing new report, Denver auditor and certified public accountant Timothy M. O’Brien evaluated the city’s methods, strategies and standards for auditing marijuana dispensaries, cultivations and manufacturing facilities, deeming them “ineffective” and “inefficient.” Officials also have failed to address several unlicensed marijuana delivery services active in the city, the report said. Denver’s Treasury Division is responsible for overseeing the collection, recording and depositing of all city taxes and other revenues, including those from the marijuana industry. It maintains its own audit unit and a dedicated tax technician specialist who helps identify which marijuana businesses to audit. “We did a thorough data analysis of aspects of the tax assessments Treasury has done, and we found examples of missed risks and a need for more attentiveness to warning signs,” O’Brien said in a statement. Asked if he could give the city a standard letter grade for its performance, O’Brien said it would be an “incomplete.” “Treasury isn’t adhering to leading audit standards and isn’t keeping required documentation to support their audit conclusions,” O’Brien told The Denver Post by email, adding he could not surmise how much tax revenue the city might have lost because of its lack of a paper trail. Marijuana sales taxes are allocated to the state’s public education fund, which covers initiatives such as the Colorado Department of Education’s Building Excellent Schools…

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Source : Denver Post
Link to original : Denver risking tax dollars by “ineffectively” auditing marijuana businesses, city auditor alleges
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