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(But the other things are pretty aggravating, too.)

Oh, they're right up there.

Right now the IRS is in second place. Client gets a CP2000 last summer. They want to tax some dependent care benefits. The ones I forgot to put on the return. (OOPS!!! See, there's number 3 on the list, making mistakes that I don't catch.) But they also want to deny his education credit because the 1098T only shows an amount in box 2, not in box 1. (Box 2 is amount billed and box 1 is amount paid for those of you who don't look at a 1098T every day.)

We write letters. We send documentation. They deny, deny, deny, and then send a 90 day letter. So the client (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) files a Tax Court petition. The matter is sent to appeals, as is normal.

I talked to the appeals officer a few days ago. Finally got someone at the IRS with a brain. A whole, entire, working brain! I mention the two issues and that we concede one of them. He says the 1098T is good enough for him, and we spend more time discussing the procedural matters that need to follow than anything else. I'm off the phone in less than 5 minutes.

Had someone with only half a brain looked at this 6 months ago, we could have put this to bed in the same 5 minutes.

At least I got some good vibes with the client for fighting this one out and winning. I'd better, as the initial mistake (and the vast majority of the tax bill on the CP2000) was my fault. I'm doing all of this crazy work at no charge. In fact, I'll have to mail the client a check for the penalties on the dependent care benefits. This whole mess is COSTING me money, not making me money.

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