Communicating with the IRS Requires Organized + Detailed Note Taking
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Communicating with the IRS Requires Organized + Detailed Note Taking

Communicating with the IRS Requires Organized + Detailed Note Taking

When you call the IRS I suggest doing it as early in the work day as possible to minimize wait time.  Have a pen and pad of paper in hand and ideally be sitting in front of a computer.  Write your questions down in advance of picking up the phone and be calm yet alert. Be sure to record on the top of your notes the date and time of the call.

THE VERY FIRST QUESTIONS YOU ALWAYS WANT ANSWERED:

1. Who are you talking to?

2. How is their name spelled?

3. What is their IRS identification number?

Be polite when asking but do know that the person you are talking to is obligated to provide you this minimal information. This is also particularly important because sometimes when defending against allegations it may prove beneficial to request that the actual taped phone conversation be reviewed for accuracy and without this above information the IRS will simply not comply.  When the IRS provides documented misinformation they can and sometimes do create a basis for you to seek relief from their allegations.

Remember the person on the other end of the phone is obligated and trained (usually very well) to advocate on behalf of the US government. And this person is skilled at using what I refer to as phone tactics in pursuit of their obligations to their employer which manifests itself in a variety of ways and can cause you to experience a variety of emotions if you let it. Take solace in knowing that politeness and calmness usually prevail.

In the US Tax Court Case Stephen Meeh v. Commissioner – TC Memo 2009-18, the Court noted that the IRS settlement officer had a history of being unavailable and misrepresenting or failing to record the taxpayers’ efforts to contact the officer. The Court was of the opinion that both the tax payer and the IRS are partially at fault, but because the IRS records were so “badly muddled,” the appropriate action was to honor the taxpayers’ request for an installment plan.

Lesson here is to take better notes than your opponent because more often than not it distills down to who ever has the more precise and organized documentation gets a ruling more in their favor, unless of course their is an overt violation of the code.



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