Two Wrongs

America on a one-year work program with Disney. At the end of her contract, she filed her 2011 taxes with a tax agency that none of her coworkers used. Her coworkers all received their refund; and she ended up owing the IRS money. The agency made a mistake of having her fill out a 1040 EZ instead of a 1040 NR EZ, so she had to sign an amendment paper. Going back, she found that the agency is out of business. So she called the IRS and they suggested she pay the fee for now and re-file her taxes. What’s the best way of going about this? Is it not too late?”  

Ask TaxMama 

Dear Diego, 

You don’t say how much money we’re talking about here. 

But if there is a lot of money that she must pay, and a refund that she should be getting, there is certainly an alternative. Have her contact an EA or CPA. By giving them a power of attorney, they can pull IRS records and see exactly what IRS is showing as having been filed.

They can get the information the same day – or the next day by using IRS’s online database or the special hotline just for tax professionals. They can see any notations or assessments on the account. 

Then, they can prepare an amended tax return for her within a day or so (if she goes to someone who is not swamped with corporate returns which are due on Sept 15th).  

And she can resolve the whole thing without having to pay IRS first.

(By the way, she might think of reporting these fly-by-night folks to the IRS.  You don’t want them doing tax returns for other people. Their preparer tax identification number is on your friend’s tax return. That will help identify them, no matter where they open up next.)

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about fixing filing errors and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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