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No. of Recommendations: 62
I had occasion to call IRS yesterday. Their website showed my refund was being reduced. After re-doing everything on my return I was convinced my return was correct, but even the reduced refund had been in limbo for 3 weeks. Very helpful lady took all the information and started checking. My refund was indeed in limbo, but she did manage to find records showing the orginal amount I calculated was now going to be paid. She checked further and found an adjustment back to the orignal amount had been made on Feb. 10 and the refund should be paid soon. She could not have been more professional and seemed genuinely interested in helping me.

This lady may very well be one of those 200,000 gov't employees John Boehner casually threw under the bus yesterday. There's an attitude among conservative politicians and media that anyone who works for the gov't is a useless freeloader. I've dealt with a lot of so-called bureaucrats both on both business and personal matters. I found almost all of them were trying hard to do their jobs well. They deserve a few compliments instead of the insults they get all too often.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
She could not have been more professional and seemed genuinely interested in helping me.
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You got lucky. Either that, or the wrong number.

Bill
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No. of Recommendations: 8
I have only needed to call the IRS once regarding a problem with a tax return. It was filed on paper. The data entry moved an item to the wrong line.

The IRS representative was very professional and the problem was resolved.

More recently a relative was contacted by the IRS regarding joint returns she filed with her late husband. Since all issues were with his income, the IRS representative closed the file. No further action will be taken by the IRS.

Another relative with a history or procasination, paying late and misplacing paperwork had a IRS representative come to her home. Having no real idea of the tax situation, the IRS person was warmly received and helped straighten out the mess. The tax liability at that point was not extremely large (around $1,200).

So far, all contact with the IRS has been professional and issues have been resolved.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
More recently a relative was contacted by the IRS regarding joint returns she filed with her late husband. Since all issues were with his income, the IRS representative closed the file. No further action will be taken by the IRS.

While this was certainly a nice outcome for your relative, it made me scream. I was reminded of the case I ran across during my Southern California sentence in which a sizeable amount was being written off because "taxpayer is deceased and all assets have been distributed." Everything needed to transfer the liability to the people who got the assets was there except the cover sheet. Sent it back to the manager. She returned it with a note, "You don't understand--he's dead." Took it to her boss, who just stared blankly. Finally gave it to one of my reviewers to slap a cover sheet on it and send it for assessment.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I've called the IRS twice recently, once in December about my own return, and once (just today) to ask a question about a form. On both occasions, I got quick, professional help.

In particular, I thought that today's call might require a lengthy wait on the telephone, this being their busy season. It did not: the phone was answered very quickly, and after I told the woman what I wanted, she asked me to hold while she transferred me to the right office. And they picked up in under two minutes.

Lorenzo
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I ran across during my Southern California sentence in which a sizeable amount was being written off because "taxpayer is deceased and all assets have been distributed."

I don't know what you consider sizeable, but I doubt it would have been in that catagory. The major issue was a 401K rollover that wasn't reported on the tax return. The other issues were a result of the tax preparer making a mess of reporting 1099s, 1099Rs and W-2s.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
You got lucky. Either that, or the wrong number.

I appreciate the original sentiment, but I also understand where you're coming from.

I'm currently in the middle of a correspondence audit where it's clear the auditor has never looked at the original return. (Or, more correctly, a transcript of the return, as it was e-filed.) So now I'm having to engage in the remedial education of an IRS auditor on basic tax law. Rather annoying. Particularly since I'm going to have a dickens of a time charging my client for all the time I'm spending teaching taxes to an IRS employee.

--Peter
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Rather annoying. Particularly since I'm going to have a dickens of a time charging my client for all the time I'm spending teaching taxes to an IRS employee.

I hope, at least, that you client can take his tax-preparation-fee off his taxes... .
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No. of Recommendations: 0
So now I'm having to engage in the remedial education of an IRS auditor on basic tax law.

I take it going to the auditor's superior is not an option? What about filing a complaint with the IG's office? This would seem to fall under the heading of "waste", if not "fraud" for the auditor holding him-/herself out as qualified.

Kathleen
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I have dealt with IRS for over 40 years and any time i had a problem it was always some newbie who thought they knew it all. Almost without exception the encounters were professional and fair. I have had collection officers who actually went out of their way to work with taxpayers.
Just remember they are people just like us and didn't make some of the stupid laws.
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I take it going to the auditor's superior is not an option? What about filing a complaint with the IG's office? This would seem to fall under the heading of "waste", if not "fraud" for the auditor holding him-/herself out as qualified.

Not everything warrants picking a fight--especially if it can be resolved locally. It seems to me that the man is handling this quite appropriately.

Eric Hines
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No. of Recommendations: 0
It's good to hear positive things about IRS employees. I've never had to deal with one but (even though they are different levels of government) these stories at least partly make up for those times I had to go to the California DMV.

--fleg
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I hope, at least, that you client can take his tax-preparation-fee off his taxes... .

Professional fees for an audit are deductible just like the fees for tax preparation.

So technically, yes, they can deduct them. In reality, this particular client isn't going to get over the 2% of AGI threshold for miscellaneous deductions - even with the fees for an audit thrown in.

--Peter
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I take it going to the auditor's superior is not an option? What about filing a complaint with the IG's office? This would seem to fall under the heading of "waste", if not "fraud" for the auditor holding him-/herself out as qualified.

It's not worth my time or effort. All I want is to get the proper expenses allowed for my client.

What has really happened is a shift in staffing at the IRS. I think something like 70% of all tax returns are now filed electronically. That has caused a significant drop in the number of tax return processors the IRS needs. Instead of laying all of those people off, management at the IRS waved their magic wand and said "Presto chango. You are all now correspondence auditors. Here's a couple days of training. Now go forth and audit."

In this particular case, I don't even have a name to talk to. I'm just writing to "Tax Examiner."

--Peter <== still fuming a bit
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No. of Recommendations: 1
What has really happened is a shift in staffing at the IRS. I think something like 70% of all tax returns are now filed electronically. That has caused a significant drop in the number of tax return processors the IRS needs. Instead of laying all of those people off, management at the IRS waved their magic wand and said "Presto chango. You are all now correspondence auditors. Here's a couple days of training. Now go forth and audit."

I suspect you're on to something. Travel with me to a time before IRS Service Centers, when all the work was done in the district office. Taxpayers filed there, returns were processed there, all the accounting was done there on Unit Ledger Cards.

With the advent of computerized accounting in the 60's came the Service Centers. And those bookkeeping machine operators? Office Collection Interviewers. Lots of them were still around when I started in 1971. In fact, before we ever went to classroom training we were sent to observe them at work. Behind their backs they were known as the Iron Maidens, and were they ever fierce.

I'm a pussycat in comparison.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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No. of Recommendations: 7
Well, since Peter and Phil are interjecting a little humor on this board I will post my annual tax quip:

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Always remember folks .... that whenever you combine the words "The IRS" it will always come out as THEIRS !!! ;)

Rich
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