The IRS has been far from infallible in recent history. New employees are poorly trained and the agency has experienced many hiccups in their attempts to streamline their procedures with technology.
IRS Letters & Notices
Taxpayers have complained of being served with demand letters threatening to seize their assets. In such cases, it is imperative to ensure that any correspondence with the IRS is saved and sent with return receipt requested. It is also a good idea to take down the name and employee identification of the agent with whom you deal in telephone conversations and transactions. It helps to have your tax preparer contact the agency themselves.
Computer glitches have even contradicted the IRS’ own regulations, statements and allowances for taxpayers in professions such as real estate. Property losses have been inexplicably disallowed in the past, even when all paperwork is fulfilled and requirements have been met. Again, speaking with a representative directly will allow taxpayers or their preparers to pinpoint exactly where and when the misunderstanding occurred.
Keep Your Documents
Always retain proof of payment, too. It is not entirely uncommon for the IRS to misplace payment information, or even to “forget it ever happened.” In such cases, it is critical that taxpayers have kept their own proof of payment. In fact, any part of your personal information is at risk of being part of a problem. Social Security numbers, even those of dependents, can be lost or transposed, causing wrongful penalties and interest to accrue.
The Process Is Long
It may take a while before the IRS catches up to these mistakes, never mind fixing them. Being persistent is essential when you’re in the right. Do not rely on telephone calls to resolves problems arising from errors committed by the IRS. Follow up with written correspondence—or better yet, keep all communications in writing, sent via Certified Mail with return receipt requested (Priority Mail is not accepted). A paper trail is not so easily ignored or dismissed.