CFTOD Administrator Says Employees Owe $2 Million in Back Taxes to IRS for Theme Park Access

    According to a memo from Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Administrator Glen Gilzean to District employees, the District has concluded that more than $2 million in back taxes are owed for the season pass benefit. The Orlando Sentinel first reported on this story and was able to obtain the memo confirming what was reported.

    CFTOD Administrator Glen Gilzean

    The perk was paid for by the District and not a free gift from Disney World, but the passes could be a taxable benefit to both the District and employees. In the memo, Gilzean said that “previous leadership chose not to inform staff about their IRS obligations to pay legally owed taxes on season pass benefits”. Gilzean said that more than $2 million are owed in back taxes by employees. A report released by the District shows that the total owed is nearly $2.15 million for tax years 2020-2023. The report says that a total of 638 employees are impacted to the tune of roughly $3,400 per affected employee.

    In the memo, Gilzean says that “it was a top priority of our leadership team to ensure that our employees are not penalized for previous failures”. Gilzean noted that the District has reached out to the IRS to propose a solution where the District pays for the back taxes. The report says that the issue was first flagged back in late 2019, but the leadership at the time determined that the passes were not a taxable benefit. The new leadership for the District now believes that the passes were a taxable benefit and determined that the total amount owed was nearly $2.15 million.

    In the December 1st memo, Gilzean said that they were still awaiting a response from the IRS.

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