October 23, 2013 § Leave a comment
“Yikes! I just received a notice from the IRS…” Few words strike fear in the hearts of a taxpayer more than hearing from the IRS!
I have been helping people deal with the IRS for over 25 years and I can tell you that I have never seen the IRS in more disarray than they appear to be right now.
Here is one example. In March of 2013, we electronically filed a return for one of our clients who was to receive a large refund. Normally, a taxpayer would receive their refund within two to four weeks if it was to be directly deposited. Instead, six weeks later our client received a notice saying that the IRS was holding their refund until they could do a “review” of their tax return, which would be completed by June of 2013. June came and went and no word was received from the IRS, so the client decided to call the IRS and see what was holding up their refund. They were told that no further information was known about their return, but that they could continue to call and check the status every two weeks. The client called every two weeks and also asked our firm to be included on the calls. Finally in August after we had been told that there was nothing further required of the taxpayer, and yet, no update could be given, we decided to contact the Taxpayer Advocates office since the refund had been held so long.
When we called the Taxpayer Advocate’s office, we were told that another notice requesting additional information had been sent in June. We asked to have it resent since the taxpayer had not received it and we were informed that they could not do that, but that it was a standard notice and could be found on the IRS website indicating what additional information was required. The Taxpayer Advocate also told us that they were unable to help us further, since they were restricted on the number of people they could help and our client was not in enough of a “dire need” to be included. But at least, we were given some direction on action to take. We were further told even after this additional information was sent that it would take six to eight weeks for the IRS to address the information and release the refund.
Of course, just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, the government shutdown occurred. Many of the IRS agents were furloughed, and all refunds were being held – yet another reason for a refund delay. I realize that they are holding large refunds due to identity theft and trying to make sure it is a legitimate claim. However, it appears that they are not really even dealing with the situation, because by now, they should have been able to check the tax payments and released the refund.
In conclusion, my words of wisdom would be if you receive a notice from the IRS or any other government entity, don’t ignore it and hope it will go away. You can respond to it yourself or if you would feel more comfortable, share it with your CPA to be sure it is a legitimate notice and if the notice says additional taxes are due, make sure that you really owe them. And of course, remember “patience is a virtue” and you are probably going to need a lot of it when dealing with the IRS.
Kathi Koenig, CPA
October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
For a second year in a row, McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith CPA firm (MHC&S) has been named as one of the top one hundred nationally ranked CPA firms for the “2013 Best Accounting Firms To Work For” event, sponsored by the national publication of “Accounting Today.”
The criteria for this nomination consisted of two parts. The first part was an evaluation of the firm’s workplace policies, practices, systems and demographics which accounted for 25% of the evaluation. The second part, consisting of 75% of the evaluation, was the result of an employee survey to measure the CPA firm employee experience.
MHC&S has participated in various “Best Work Place” surveys over the years and we have been fortunate to continue to receive excellent results from our team members. MHCS’s attention to our team and being willing to work with our team members regarding their flexible schedules has been an important part of our firm’s success. We believe that recognizing our team members as the most important firm asset, along with structuring the firm’s vision and core values to acknowledge our team member’s value, results in our MHC&S team’s satisfaction.
I can truly express the partners’ appreciation for the confidence and support conveyed by our team members in their survey response. We want to say “Thank You” to all of our team members, for without you this recognition would not have been possible. Our team members make MHC&S a great place to work!