Appealing Dad

Today TaxMama hears from Ron in Jacksonville, FL who tells us. “When I filed my 2004 taxes I miscalculated and the IRS sent the Division of Child Support my $3000 refund. I was audited and now the IRS wants the $3000 back plus $500. Can I appeal this and is it worth it.”

Dear Ron,

The current problem, as I understand it, is that IRS audited you and caught the $3,000 error. If you appeal, what would be your reason for the appeal?

That you didn’t make a mistake and your tax return was correct the way you filed it?

If so, darn straight! Appeal that audit!

Be certain that you have all the proof gathered so can you support the deductions or expenses that IRS is disallowing. Otherwise, you’ll just waste the appeal.

If you did make the mistake, you want to appeal just to get the penalties and related interest reduced since it was an innocent error?

You may not need to appeal. If the auditor still has the case, have a nice friendly chat with him or her and perhaps s/he’ll decide you didn’t do it deliberately. There are some penalties the auditors have the discretion to eliminate. Some they can’t.

If you want to appeal them having taken your money and turning it over to the Child Support Unit – IRS isn’t where you would fight it. They just collect it.

You must go back to the source – the Division of Child Support. And they won’t return your money. By now, they’ve turned it over to your children. What you can do is to work out a payment plan with them and stick with it, so they don’t have to sic IRS on you.

And you’ll have to do the same with IRS. Set up a payment plan that you can afford. If you select a payment amount that will pay of the tax, plus interest within 5 years, IRS will approve it automatically.

Sigh, I know it’s hard. But the easiest way to resolve any of this is to face it head-on and deal with all the agencies involved. Politely and humbly. They’re more apt to be sympathetic and help you. This too, shall pass.

Remember, you’ll find answers to questions about tax audits and all kinds of tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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