CHICAGO — Indiana budget officials will hire Deloitte to conduct an audit into how the state’s Revenue Department lost track of $526 million of tax revenue in a pair of high-profile accounting errors that embarrassed Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration.

The State Budget Committee said this week it had tapped Deloitte to investigate the department and would finalize the details of the contract and the probe at its next meeting in July. 

“Clearly everyone has a desire to start as soon as possible,” state budget director Adam Horst, one of five members on the bipartisan budget panel, said after announcing the hire.

“This audit is a major undertaking, and one that must be done right,” said state Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, the committee chairman.

Democratic lawmakers, who are in the minority, have been pushing for an audit since last December, after the Indiana Department of Revenue revealed that it had found $320 million in corporate tax revenue that it had collected but failed to record over a four-year period.

At the time, Daniels, a Republican, downplayed the error and emphasized the good news it meant for the state’s coffers.

In April, the department admitted that it had accidently withheld $206 million in local-option income tax revenue that should have gone to local governments.

That announcement prompted the resignation of the Revenue Department commissioner and two of his top deputies.

GOP lawmakers and top budget officials ultimately agreed to conduct the audit.

New York-based Deloitte was one of 10 firms that submitted proposals.

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