Local C.P.A. Tom Janney has issued a statement explaining his reasons for not revealing the tax return record of the Fiddlers Jamboree Committee to a third party private citizen.
During Monday night's Smithville City Council meeting, Chris Cantrell, in response to Jamboree attorney Frank Buck's assertion that records of the Jamboree are open to the public, stated "That's bantered around a lot Frank, but you know when you call Tom (Janney) as I did today (Monday), he said, I can't give you those records, Neal (Dudney) would get mad at me."
Tuesday, Janney issued the following statement, "In regard to the recent controversy regarding the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival, Inc. I would like to note the following:
"The only reason I even acknowledged to an outside party that I prepare the organization's tax return is because as a 501(c)(3) non profit organization, the Jamboree's tax return is readily available from the IRS by filing Form 4506-A. A copy of its tax filings can be obtained within a reasonable time by any member of the general public, and I am listed as the preparer of the tax return."
"It has been stated that I have refused to release the Jamboree records due to unspoken disapproval by the coordinator, Mr. Dudney. However, my "refusal" at that time, simply reflected the plain fact that I cannot release any client's information without their permission. Imagine if your tax preparer started giving out copies of your organization's records without prior approval."
"I think the analogy would be – say for example, I did the City of Smithville's audit (which I don't) – the general public must go to the City to get copies of its records and NOT the accountant's office. I want the public to know that Mr. Dudney understands that the Jamboree Committee has a public obligation, and he takes it seriously. He has asked me to provide a copy of the return to Mr. Frank Buck, attorney, and I have done so."
"However, I would like to ask that any requests for more copies be handled through the Jamboree office in the basement of the courthouse or by calling their number 597-8500. I am not on the Jamboree Committee, and I do not keep the Jamboree's books. I simply fill out the tax return based on the information that is provided to me."
"I hope that as a community we can work together on maintaining the Jamboree's mission over the long haul, and I'll do whatever I can to help."