Yesterday I made suggestions about what to do if you receive a notice from the IRS and decide to handle it yourself. Today I want to make a few suggestions if you are using a tax pro. Since each tax pro is different, these are the things I want from you and what you can expect from me.
- This is not something I can handle over the phone from the start. Specifically, I need to see the notice. So please bring/fax/send the letter to me. Then we can talk on the phone.
- Bring/send me the whole notice. Remember the IRS used both sides of the page so make sure you get it all.
- I understand procrastination so bring me in the letters you ignored. In many cases, those will have the info I need not the last one you got.
- If I didn’t prepare the return in question, I will need a copy of the return as filed and any amended returns submitted.
- Until I’m sure of the scope of the issue, be careful of what you tell me. It may not be covered under client confidentiality if the IRS asks about it.
- This is your problem, not mine. I will help you as much as I can but I expect you to take it seriously. Get me the info and documents I request ASAP. I will not chase you down to get what I need to respond to the notice. Remember there are time constraints and deadlines.
- If I’m handling the notice for you, let me handle it. It will confuse everyone if you try to “help” by contacting the IRS too. If you’ve tried to resolve the issue yourself, please let me know what you’ve already done.
- Don’t expect me to lie for you.
- This is not a quick process. Expect to wait for weeks/months to get a response from the IRS. Calling me every other day will not get a faster resolution.
- If I can’t handle the problem, I will tell you so that you can find someone else. There are issues that will need a tax attorney or I can’t handle the work in the time frame necessary.
An IRS notice is serious but a tax pro can help you solve the problem. But you have to realize that you have to do your part by getting documentation to them and letting them do their job.