Nevada Casinos Want $20 Million Tax Refund

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Forty-one Nevada casinos want a tax refund of $20 million for the sales tax paid on complimentary meals for their guests and employees over a three-year period.

Chuck Chinnock, executive director of the state Department of Taxation, says the casinos have joined in submitting their request and he wants to do a full-scale audit on each one.

Chinnock told the Nevada Tax Commission, which authorized the audits on Monday, that past audits have found "noncompliance" by casinos on tax issues and it has been several years since a complete audit was done of the industry.

Tax Commission Chairwoman Barbara Smith Campbell said some of the casinos are "higher-risk taxpayers" and the department should make sure they are in compliance with other taxation issues.

The commission also agreed to go forward in negotiating a new contract with OSI Collection Services, Inc. to chase down delinquent taxpayers, even though its present contract has not produced much.

Dino DiCianno, deputy director of the taxation department, said it turned over to OSI for collections total debt of $21 million, which includes back taxes, penalties and interest when the contract was first signed in September 2002.

OSI has collected only $16,000. But DiCianno said these were "very old debts" and most of them had been written off. He said the department collected an additional $30,000 from these debts because of liens placed on property.