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Here is my story. About 9 months ago, I received a notice from the IRS that they want proof of what I reported in 2019. I received the paper work 2 weeks after the deadline to respond as I live abroad and it finally got to me late. The notice had on it an auditor's name and phone and fax. I repeatedly called and left vm's and faxed that I got the notice late and have whatever they are asking for to prove that I reported correctly. After trying this for about 2 weeks or so. I called the IRS main line and after being passed around to different extensions and speaking to whoever answered the phone, I got to collections where I found out that they are really auditing me for 2018 and 2019 but they never sent me a notice for 2018 or I never received it.

At that time, I consulted experts who recommended me to hire an CPA to deal with the audit as there is a phone number that tax professionals can call and get through. I found a CPA that has been around for years and the owner assigned my audit to what he called a tax expert (CPA). Over 8 months, I am now told, he never got through to the IRS.

Over this time, I kept emailing him for updates, he kept on giving me all kinds of answers like my audit went to tax court and he is waiting for my audit to be dismissed and returned to the IRS or something like this but apparently he just kept forgetting (he admitted this once in an email) or whatever but he didn't get anything done.

About 3 weeks ago, it looked to me that this CPA was not handling my audit so I complained to the owner to assign my audit to another CPA, he apologized and assigned it to someone else. This person seems more on the ball but I just got another notice and sent it to him where he said that my audit is done and the only thing he can try now is to request an "audit reconsideration"

So let's put the CPA's negligence aside for now.

Can I sue the IRS for requesting proof but not being accessible to actually furnish them with it? In the early 2000's I was audited, asked the very same things for proof but then the auditor answered the phone and I was able to furnish them with whatever they wanted and I didn't need a CPA. Now I have to pay for the CPA and the IRS is asking for around $16k in back interest and for "improper reporting" for something that I can prove with actual pay stubs and that's it was earned income if they gave me the time to talk to them and send the documentation.

Right now, the interest is accruing and I do not know what I can do and it's very frustrating. Especially since I was able to deal with this many years ago when the IRS simply answered the phone. I have everything to show that I reported accurately. Now it looks like the CPA doesn't seem confident in helping me. His tone of voice is that he can try to request an "audit reconsideration"

Any advice would be appreciated.

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2 Answers 2

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I received the paper work 2 weeks after the deadline to respond as I live abroad and it finally got to me late.

You have described that situation in one of your earlier questions, and the conclusion was that it got to you late because you didn't check your mail. Sure, you have a story about a tenant that wasn't forwarding your mail to you, but that's your fault, not the IRS.

I repeatedly called and left vm's and faxed that I got the notice late and have whatever they are asking for to prove that I reported correctly.

Have you actually submitted what they were asking for? Like, put all the documents in an envelope and sent them via certified/registered mail with return receipt? Because when you go to court - that's what you'll have to show. From your description it doesn't sound like you did.

I got to collections where I found out that they are really auditing me for 2018 and 2019 but they never sent me a notice for 2018 or I never received it.

That's a big distinction. They probably did send it to you, to the address you gave them, which you've already described as an unreliable location.

I found a CPA that has been around for years and the owner assigned my audit to what he called a tax expert (CPA). Over 8 months, I am now told, he never got through to the IRS.

That's not really the IRS' fault, either.

This person seems more on the ball but I just got another notice and sent it to him where he said that my audit is done and the only thing he can try now is to request an "audit reconsideration"

Sounds about right.

Can I sue the IRS for requesting proof but not being accessible to actually furnish them with it?

Where you required to furnish it by phone? Unlikely, usually they ask for documents in writing (mail or fax). You should have sent confirmations and return receipts for either, but from what you described it doesn't sound like you've actually furnished it.

Regardless, you cannot sue for being "inaccessible", you can sue if they made a wrong decision.

The right venue would be the Tax Court, but it sounds like you've missed that opportunity already. So the next step would be to pay the bill, hire an attorney, and file a request for refund in a Federal district court.

Or, as the CPA suggests, attempt an audit reconsideration.

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  • Do you still suggest to use a CPA to file an audit reconsideration or is it enough it I do it alone? While it seems like I am delinquent, I have all the necessary proof that I filed correctly in those years and for those amounts. So can I just request the audit reconsideration explaining that due to a comedy of errors (received it late, IRS doesn't answer phones, my CPA didn't do what I hired him to do for whatever reason etc) or only a professional is likely to be successful with the IRS now ?
    – Mr Monee
    Jul 2, 2023 at 6:39
  • "Have you actually submitted what they were asking for? Like, put all the documents in an envelope and sent them via certified/registered mail with return receipt? Because when you go to court - that's what you'll have to show. From your description it doesn't sound like you did." who in their right mind would know to just blindly send the IRS paperwork if there isn't anyone on the receiving end to talk to? How was I supposed to know this detail?
    – Mr Monee
    Jul 2, 2023 at 6:41
  • "That's not really the IRS' fault, either." I hear your point but I am coming from that if you're going to accuse someone of improper reporting and not be accessible, the how is the person supposed to show that he was accurate and responsible and not otherwise? That is retarded. I accuse you of stealing and I do not stick around to hear that you are honest. That is why I'd want to sue. There must of many others who got goofed up like me. If the IRS just gave me a few minutes of their time, this whole thing would be put to rest.
    – Mr Monee
    Jul 2, 2023 at 6:43
  • @MrMonee you had your chance when you filed (or could have filed) a US Tax Court petition - that's exactly what it was for. No one is required to discuss your case with you over the phone, and your expectation is unreasonable. Who would know to send evidence when requested as requested? I'd say everyone.
    – littleadv
    Jul 2, 2023 at 18:56
  • I disagree, if you're going to accuse someone of something, you need to make yourself available to hear their side. I got it late and that can happen for people abroad which my address is clearly that. To make it impossible to work it out is in my opinion outrageous. If I did a crime, that would be one thing, I just need a few minutes to show my side. Not too much to ask for. And it is reasonable to have someone to hear me out, they put a name and phone/fax on the front of the notice for that very reason. Lastly, I doubt anyone with sense would send in paperwork w/o calling first.
    – Mr Monee
    Jul 2, 2023 at 19:36
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If you're not getting hold of the IRS and that's the reason for not being able to respond to the audit, you may be able to get help from the Taxpayer Advocacy Service (TAS). However, if it's your CPA's negligence that's led to all of this, the IRS will deflect fault onto him.

At the end of the day, you can sue anyone you like in the U.S. The question is whether you'll win.

This sounds like a mess all around. Your CPA may have screwed up, we know the IRS is terribly backlogged so they may have screwed up, and ultimately you don't know what efforts your CPA made (or didn't make) to resolve this. Your case might already be in tax court and it sounds like your CPA doesn't want to help through that. You may want to consult with an attorney, and you might give the TAS a shot as well.

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  • Months ago I tried calling the Taxpayer Advocacy Service, I wasn't able to get someone either. They tell you upfront that they are backed up. So I went with a CPA. Definitely a mess.
    – Mr Monee
    Jul 2, 2023 at 10:08

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