State Revenue Questions Fireworks Stand's Tax Situation

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__The revenue department came to collect taxes it said were owed by Kelly Wholesale Fireworks.

Copeland International Inc. operates several of those stands in the area and, if not for solid paperwork, they would have been forced into one poor grand finale.

The Kansas Department of Revenue said Kelly Wholesale Fireworks owed more than $82,000 in taxes and believed Copeland International Inc. was the owner responsible for paying. President Charlie Copeland says it's a mix-up. Saying, "Five years ago we bought out Kelly Wholesale Fireworks. We have taken over the liability but we only use the trade name. All of our paper says Copeland International but the Kelly Wholesale name only shows up on the banner."

All of Charlie Copeland's five Topeka locations were shut down for 3 and a half hours. While the actions seem quite aggressive, the temporary status of fireworks stands made the Kansas Department of Revenue feel as though they needed to come without warning.

Charlie said, "Fireworks stands are seen to be a fly by night type of business. We are only in the state of Kansas for 8 days a year. I understand the reason of their actions."

Shortly after noon Copeland was able to sort out the error and breath a little easier.

He said, "We were able to show them that we have been paying taxes and they have dropped the warrant and did not seize anything."

Charlie Copeland said he only had to pay an auction fee of $2,000 to get back any items the department of revenue initially seized.

He could meet again with the state July 15th to discuss paper work. We couldn't reach revenue officials for comment as of Tuesday evening.


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