Today TaxMama hears from Midge in the TaxQuips Forum. Midge is upset because she and her husband sent IRS 4 post-dated checks for last year’s taxes with 2010 on the memo line. Not only did IRS cash them all at once, but they applied the payments to 2010, instead of 2009. Now, Midge says, they are too stupid to fix the error and keep sending her notices.
IRS really is not that stupid. We sometimes get really angry and frustrated with them. But this is not their fault. They followed the instructions on your husband’s check where he wrote 2010.
I know your intentions were good. But you folks did everything wrong.
1) You NEVER send post-dated checks to a tax agency. How do you expect them to keep track of when to deposit them? They don’t keep tickler files. They either deposit them all – or they send them back to you.
2) Whatever year you put on the memo line is the year to which they will post the taxes. That isn’t their fault. They followed your husband’s instructions.
As to getting that fixed? That’s not so easy. Yes, DO call them back. Do NOT call them on a Monday morning. That is the busiest time on their phone lines. Wait until Tuesday and either call right at 8:00 am in your time zone, or wait until about 2:00 pm. DO ask for a supervisor up front. As nicely as you can, ask the supervisor for help.
If you get no satisfaction, do this:
1) Write a response to the letter, to the address on the letter. Tell them those checks were intended to be applied to 2009. The memo line was a mistake – and have them look at the dates of the checks.
2) Send it certified, return receipt requested.
If IRS still refuses to apply the checks to the correct year after TWO letters, call the Taxpayers Advocate Service for help at 1-877-777-4778.
In the future, if you want to set up the 4 payments and forget about them – use EFTPS – the IRS’ online bill paying service. There, you CAN schedule the four payments to come out of your bank on the correct days. And you can specify which tax year you want to pay.
And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about fixing your tax payments and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.[Note: If you were subscribed to the e-mailed TaxQuips, you’d be getting other exciting news and tips by e-mail, that never appear on the site. Please click on the join TaxMama.com link – it’s free!]
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