To The Daily Sun,
The City of Laconia is spending thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to evade reimbursing Mr. Gammon's cost incurred in correcting the ballot count for WARD 5 City Council. The court ordered a recount as a result of his quest to protect all voters. However, the court is now reconsidering its order that the city pay his out of pocket expenses.
No EXPERT witness, affidavit by an accountant or finance officer has ever been introduce to the court to support the city attorney's allegation that an IRS W-9 form was mandated regarding out of pocket expenses (non-income). Why the city manager or council has not weighed in on the perpetuation of this litigation is perplexing.
The city solicitor has turned the reimbursement of "Out of Pocket Expenses" into a frivolous defense, an issue not directly related to the election recount's cost incurred. The city is demanding that Mr. Gammon, ProSe, complete and IRS W-9 form, which has no applicability, to reimbursement for do-it-yourself representation.
When the prevailing party is represented by an attorney, it's the attorney who shall declare all cost as earned income to the IRS. The client will not send the attorney a W-9 or a 1099 before the bill is paid.
ProSe representation puts the individual in harm's way. If unsuccessful, the risk of being ordered to reimburse the opposing party for legal cost is great. However, a ProSe petitioner or defendant is not allowed reimbursement for time, labor or misc. cost when prevailing. ProSe litigants may be awarded "out of Pocket expenses" only.
Mr. Gammon only requested out of pocket expenses, as allowed, for ensuring a vote cast shall be counted; a personal cost of $280.76. WHY has the city conjured up a W-9 requirement, costing thousands?
The court ordered reimbursement for out of pocket was appealed by the city. The only question put to the court was reimbursement. However, the city solicitor stated the money was available but only under the condition that Mr. Gammon complete IRS W-9 Form, a form that is used by the city to fill out IRS 1099-MISC for Vendor or Contractor, who must report it as income, REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT INCOME, he has paid all fees with after-tax dollars.
In civil cases the award of cost to the prevailing side can be in the tens of thousands and no W-9 is mandated because neither the petitioner nor respondent is a contractor or vendor.
If a business needs to issue a Form 1099-MISC to a vendor or independent contractor, the business will first need to obtain a completed Form W-9 from the vendor or contractor. That's because in order to fill out the Form 1099-MISC, the business owner will need to know the name, address and taxpayer identification number to whom the 1099-MISC will be issued.
Thomas A. Tardif