California CPA Steve Green is accusing the Internal Revenue Service of “gross negligence” in the way it has responded to correspondence with him.
“As a Certified Public Accountant, I and others in my field have been inundated by incorrect Internal Revenue Service notices, ignored letters sent certified, and ignored fax information,” he wrote. “The IRS has also accelerated the collections process during a period of instability due to new hires.”
Green claimed that notices from the IRS are sometimes signed by a particular agent and sometimes not. He said Friday that he learned from an IRS agent that any material faxed to the agency and not designated to a specific agent may be shredded. “I have to wonder if they shred our letters too,” he said.
One IRS communication that he received Friday made no sense to him. He said it contained numerous errors, referring to the wrong income tax form and to half a dozen possible penalties that may have been assessed, none of which applied, according to him.
“In fact, had their letter been reviewed internally (which would be called ‘quality control’), it would have been obvious that there was no tax due on which to base a late payment penalty,” he said.
The letter referred to a previous notice that simply said that the agency had received his firm’s correspondence and it would take up to 45 days to respond. “The new notice referred back to that notice and asked us to ignore it, as it had been sent in error,” he said, noting that it took much longer than 45 days “to receive this second nonsensical letter.”
Green also wondered whether the IRS had read his own letter. “We only received confirmation that they had received our letter, but there was no evidence whatsoever that they read the content or understood it,” he said. “So they continued to bill the original amount and added some interest to increase our frustration.”
He said the IRS has lost other packages he had sent in the past, including packages sent by certified mail with return receipts. Some of the problems have occurred with clients who were in financial distress.
“As many of these are small businesses and many taxpayers are having serious financial difficulties, I am forced to discount the charges so they can afford it,” he said. “They are spending money that is going down the drain and both their production and mine are forced down. Guess what? In a depressed economy when production goes down, wealth goes down, tax revenues go down, and people end up in even more dire financial difficulties.”
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