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Author: lethean Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121217  
Subject: ? about CPA charges for letter Date: 8/12/2004 8:16 AM
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I'm disappointed in a charge recently billed by my CPA. He charged $225 to write a letter to the IRS.

We received a letter notifying us that our 2001 return was being examined. The item in question was charitable contributions. I determined from the IRS material that the IRS had input the contributions on the wrong line (17: carryover contributions instead of lines 15 and 16). I took my charitable contribution receipts to the CPA and told him the IRS had input values on the wrong line. (He didn't have to sleuth out the problem.)

Anyway, the charge for writing the letter and attaching copies of receipts seems excessive to me. But, I also am reluctant to grump about the bill.

I also question his billing for tax preparation each year. Range $600-$1000. I've not questioned the yearly tax prep bill, but I've been tempted. I swear it seems based on our fluctuating yearly income. That's not right, is it? The tax work involved is the same year to year.

Is $225 too much for a letter which states that basically the IRS input the data on the wrong line? And how does one grump about a bill without appearing "cheap"?

Thanks....Lethean

ps I had a 2nd letter from the IRS regarding 2003 taxes. The self employment schedule was not included with the return! It's not in my copy of the return either. Although I also took the 2nd IRS letter in for the CPA to handle (at the same time), I have no ackowlegement from the CPA that the 2nd matter was corrected. I'll call him about that this morning.

The 2003 return also had a "worksheet" for Keogh included which had never been included before. It reflects a contribution "override" (red flag?). I didn't call him about it at the time (thought about it), but sent the return in as provided. I'm now thinking that someone in the office fouled up when generating the 2003 return. i.e., no self-employment schedule and a worksheet never included before. Don't know what else might be wrong with it. (The Keogh contribution override is legit because of an age-based Keogh. Just don't want to provide more info to IRS than is required.)

Also, within in the last few years I had another IRS letter for underpayment of taxes. I determined that that was again IRS error. They dropped an exemption, input the wrong # of exemptions.

In each of the above cases:

1. contribution on wrong line by IRS
2. lack of self-employment schedule by CPA
3. dropped exemption by IRS

Would it be foolish for me to write the letter myself to the IRS??? Is that just asking for trouble? They are rather straightforward items.

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