© Copyright 2008, The Oklahoman Oklahoma House Speaker Lance Cargill failed to file his personal income tax returns for the last two years until getting a warning from state tax officials, The Oklahoman has learned. Four other legislators also have overdue personal income tax returns, tax records show. One has not filed five years' worth of state income tax returns, the records show. Intentionally failing to file a state income tax return is a misdemeanor, even if no further taxes are owed. The crime has a maximum punishment of a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. "I'm human. I made a mistake,” said Cargill, an attorney. "There's nobody more upset over it than I am because I cost myself money because I was entitled to refunds.” Cargill, R-Harrah, said he rushed to complete federal and state tax returns and sent them in Friday after getting a notice at his house from the Oklahoma Tax Commission. He blamed a miscommunication with an accountant. Legislators in a 2003 law required state agencies to fire state employees who repeatedly fail to file state tax returns. Cargill was among those voting for the law. The Tax Commission sent Cargill a form letter Jan. 7 warning him that its records showed he had not filed his 2005 and 2006 state income tax returns. Cargill was told in the letter that a law requires the Tax Commission to notify any state employee "deemed to be out of compliance” with state income tax laws. He was told: "The Tax Commission is unable to verify that you are in compliance.” As House speaker, Cargill has a key role in deciding how tax dollars are spent. Also not filing recent state returns were Rep. Don Armes, Rep. Ryan McMullen, Rep. Jabar Shumate and Sen. Connie Johnson, records show. Most tax records about individuals are secret but who filed a state return is public. The public records do not reflect whether the legislators owe any overdue taxes. Armes, McMullen and Shumate confirmed they also got letters this month from the Tax Commission. The tax records show Armes, R-Faxon, did not file 2005 and 2006 state returns. Armes said he recently sent in his 2005 federal and state tax returns and is due a refund. He said he is close to getting his 2006 returns done. Armes said, "I just got behind. I'm a small businessman and trying ... to balance that with legislative work. We just get strung out. ... My biggest problem is just getting it done. I don't have a great excuse other than just too many irons in the fire.” McMullen, D-Burns Flat, said he was notified he has not filed his 2001 and 2006 state tax returns. He said he was a college student in 2001 and did not have to file a return then. He blamed "the rigors of this job” for not filing his 2006 state and federal returns. He said he expects a refund. "It's just one of those things that I've put off for a little bit. ... It's on the top of my list to do,” McMullen said. "There is a difference between people who file their tax returns late and folks who simply do not pay their taxes. I pay my taxes. Like many hardworking Oklahomans juggling jobs, church and family, I sometimes let important matters slip my mind.” Shumate, D-Tulsa, said the Tax Commission notified him by letter he has not filed his 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2006 state tax returns. He said he thought he had filed the returns and will check with his tax preparer. "It was a shock to me,” Shumate said. "I had no idea. ... They said that I was sent a letter in 2004 and 2007 but I don't recall getting a letter. ... I will take care of this.” The records show Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, did not file 2004, 2005 and 2006 state returns. She blamed a 2002 divorce for not filing her recent state and federal income tax returns. "The paperwork, you know, my ex has it and some accountant has it, so it has put me in a bind, but I know the Tax Commission is working with me to try to help me get my situation straightened out,” she said.