A state legislator is free on bond after turning himself in for tax evasion charges Tuesday.
Rep. Harold Mitchell (D-Spartanburg) reported to the Spartanburg County Detention Center to answer four counts of evasion. The South Carolina Department of Revenue accuses Mitchell of failing to report his full earnings on his individual income tax returns between 2005 and 2008. He was released on a $20,000 recognizance bond. His trial is set for November 17.
According to the warrants, in April 2009 Mitchell reported earning $49,746 in income over that four-year period. However, the DOR says he failed to report more than $220,000 of income from other sources. The agency says Mitchell claimed he never earned any additional income other than what was reported on his W-2 forms.
The warrants were made public after Mitchell’s court appearance Tuesday.
In previous interviews last week, Mitchell denied that he did anything wrong, saying he was being targeted by the Haley Administration because of his opposition to her policies, particularly on state health exchanges. He suspected the issues were over a $500,000 grant his environmental restoration company ReGenesis received. Mitchell says he did not receive any personal income from the grant.
His attorney, Bruce Byrholdt, spoke to reporters outside the jail after Mitchell’s bond hearing. He reiterated that Mitchell is cooperating, but questioned the charges.
“We’ve produced everything to the Department of Revenue,” he said, “We’re going to double-check everything that they’ve done… We’re going to look at every check that was obtained, every expense that was taken, and see if the numbers are all accurate.”
Mitchell says the Department of Revenue’s numbers are inaccurate.
According to the DOR warrants, Mitchell did not report his full earnings from 2005-2008, instead filing a delinquent return in April 2009. Here are the specifics, according to the Department of Revenue:
-He reported $871.02 of W-2 income earned in 2005, when state officials claim he should have reported an additional $59,242 extra.
-In 2006, he reported 16,292.40 of income, when the DOR says he should have reported an additional $35,103.
-He reported the same amount in 2007, while the state says he failed to report $63,926.
In 2008, the agency says he reported $16,290.48, while not reporting an additional $66,440.