Friday, June 12, 2009


During the tax filing season, when I took my annual hiatus from blogging or reading blogs, twit follower/followee Chad Bordeaux ceased writing his blog PERIODIC RAMBLINGS OF A CPA and moved, in partnership with his wife and fellow CPA Donna, as I recently discovered, to BEANCOUNTER RAMBLINGS.

Donna’s post “What Do You Do With IRS Notices?” basically tells you what I have been saying for years – when you get a notice in the mail from “Sam” (or your state tax authority) send it to your tax professional immediately (unfortunately as she is a CPA she says “fax it to your CPA” instead of the more appropriate “fax it to your tax professional”, perpetuating the fallacy that only a CPA can prepare taxes).

However her post goes into detail on why you should not take matters in your own hands and call the IRS yourself to respond to the notice –

The IRS has two sets of phone lines — one for taxpayers and one for practitioners. Can you guess where they put their slower less experienced staff? I don’t even need to answer that one. I have had clients call the 800-829-1040 number and get the biggest load of bull I have ever heard. One was told the IRS had to receive her extension by April 15, and the postmark date did not matter. My client believed them until I told them otherwise. The representatives on the practitioner line are typically more knowledgeable and able to get things faster and easier and you won’t need to waste your time. Lower your blood pressure and talk with your CPA {she did it again - it should say talk with your tax professional! - rdf}.”

I have also had clients who called the NJ Division of Taxation to inquire about a notice – or to ask about the status of their filed NJ-1040 – and were told, as Donna put it, “a load of bull” that had nothing whatsoever to do with reality.
Do not automatically accept as true anything that you are told by a representative of the IRS or a state tax authority - check its veracity with a tax pro before acting on it!
As I have said many times before, in my experience more often than not a notice from the IRS or state tax authority is incorrect!

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