CHARLESTON - A Charleston accounting firm is suing a Charleston law firm for helping them avoid a visit from the tax man.

Grigoraci, Paterno and Associates filed suit on April 30 against the Law Offices of John R. Mitchell Jr. In their complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court, GPA alleges Mitchell owes them nearly $20,000 for helping prepare the firm's federal, state and local taxes from 2005 to 2007.

In its suit, GPA says it prepared Mitchell's 2005 and 2006 federal and state corporate income tax returns. The work they performed included filing extensions.

For the 2005 calendar year, GPA says it prepared for Mitchell "Forms W-2, W-3, 1099s and other business and payroll tax returns."

Also, during the 18-month period from Jan. 16, 2006, to July 31, 2007, GPA says it performed a variety of accounting services for Mitchell, a former state Senator. Those included quarter tax returns and reports, bookkeeping and unspecified consulting services.

Furthermore, GPA prepared both Mitchell's corporate business license return and Kanawha County property tax return for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. In April 2007, GPA says it also aided Mitchell in complying with an audit performed by BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company.

Since then, GPA alleges Mitchell made payments for the services provided. However, they allege Mitchell still owes $18,900 for which it has "failed and wrongfully refused to pay."

GPA seeks judgment against Mitchell for the outstanding balance of $18,900 plus a one percent late payment charge, attorneys fees, court costs and interest. They are represented by Donald L. Stennett with the Charleston law firm of Robinson and McElwee.

The case is assigned to Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 10-C-802

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