Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Piles and piles and piles of regulatory correspondence

Confession of a tax professional after tax season: I took some time off. I had a college graduation to attend, and then some fun theme park time. Then there were second quarter estimated tax payments to calculate and relate to clients.

The copies of the correspondence from the IRS and the Arizona Department of Revenue that were dropped off, as well as those I received because I have a power of attorney, piled up.

Don’t miss: How long do I need to keep my tax records?

And when I say piled up, there were 17 envelopes on my desk when I left on Friday. So I blocked off 3 hours on my calendar today to deal with them.

For most, there was nothing to do. There were updates to clients with installment agreements, and amounts due on old returns that had been paid before the notice was dated, but crossed in the mail. However, I was not so lucky on all of them.

One, a transposition occurred when writing the check on April 12th – the $536 had turned into $356, so a difference of $180. When I called my client today to let her know to pay it, she told me that she did not have the correspondence. She assumed it was a scam and had thrown it out, because “I never make a mistake, so the IRS had to be wrong.” Luckily, this one was received under a power of attorney, so I told her I would mail her my copy and to pay from that. (She is 88 years old, so she does not have electronic way to receive this from me.)

Another client had a small interest balance due on a delinquently filed tax return. He also had thrown out his notice. I sent him the copy from the power of attorney, as well.

There were your other odd items, like clients not remembering if they made all of their estimated tax payments, so we left them off the return. Well, the IRS, or Arizona, found those payments. Now refunds are being processed.

Is there a moral to the story? No, not really. Just a lot of correspondence. And clients thinking IRS correspondence was a scam made me laugh out loud.

Donna H. Laubscher, CPA