One of my customers got a letter from CBE Group asking him to pay almost $200K in taxes they claim he owed in 2004 and 2005. I don't have any copies of that any longer after having gone through 2 computers since then and legally, I'm not required to keep anything longer than 7 years. I'm wondering if Intuit can pull up anything from that long ago?
I would get a transcript from IRS to confirm. CBE is an IRS debt collector, so it might be valid. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/transcript-types-and-ways-to-order-them
It could be failure to respond to a CP2000 for a Schedule D that would result in much lower gain on the amended return you might be able to file.
Here's wishing you many Happy Returns
Because I have learned from these types of problems....I learned to keep all client returns and prep documents on disk. My files go back to 1994. Just saying...what is required and what is prudent often conflict.
I can't tell you how many times keeping everything has saved me, and my client, by having documents that prove our position when responding to IRS notices.
Intuit doesn't have records of your clients' returns. So, they won't be able to pull up any return for any year.
Agree with Bob that the SOLs for both returns should have expired unless those were tolled for reasons you should generally be aware of (e.g. bankruptcy, OIC, installment agreement, combat zone deployment, overseas residence, etc.) provided you've been preparing that client's returns throughout all these years. But there are also times when the SOL doesn't run until certain information returns are filled and you may not be aware unless your client tells you.
Agree with George also that you should request a transcript from the IRS and may like to speak with someone at the PPS (with a PoA) to find out what's going on.
In the old days, when older physical files needed to be sent to the storage and retrieved, files for years beyond those required by the IRS were routinely destroyed, primarily for economic reasons. In modern days, even though data storage by electronic means is much cheaper, that does not necessarily mean, IMHO, we should keep our clients' files perpetually. Policy for record retention should still be set in consideration of new laws, regulations, and guidelines on data privacy, such as those from the FTC and GDPR, which generally require businesses to dispose of personal information that is no longer necessary for legal and business reasons. After all, holding more data than is necessary could actually be a potential liability. To me, it's all part of the balancing act in our business.
Still an AllStar
This information is from an IRS web page. Did your clients happen to tell you they received an IRS notice about the account being assigned to a private collection agency? Or are they like thousands of other Americans who never open mail from IRS because they know it could only be bad news?
The IRS will send you a letter before you are contacted by a private collection agency (PCA). This letter is called a Notice CP40 (PDF). It verifies that your case was transferred to a PCA.
You can also request a copy of your account transcript through our Get Transcript tool to verify that we assigned your account to a PCA. The transcript will contain the following:CODE EXPLANATION OFTRANSACTION DATE AMOUNT
|971||Collection referred to a private|
debt collection agency
|971||Notice issued CP 0040||08-07-2017||$0.00|
And this is from a 2017 IRS press release:
The IRS reminds taxpayers to be on the lookout for scammers posing as private collection firms. The IRS will be watching for these schemes as the collection program begins, and this effort will include working with partners in the tax community and law enforcement about emerging scams.
People should remember that these private collection firms will only be calling about a tax debt the person has had – and has been aware of – for years and had been contacted about previously in the past by the IRS.
“Here’s a simple rule to keep in mind. You won’t get a call from a private collection firm unless you have unpaid tax debts going back several years and you’ve already heard from the IRS multiple times,” [former IRS Commissioner] Koskinen said. “The people included in the private collection program typically already know they have a tax issue. If you get a call from someone saying they’re from one of these groups and you’ve paid your taxes, that’s a sure sign of a scam.”
I find it time and cost effective. I don't have to wait for the client to find or request info that isn't available elsewhere and I charge the client for my research time.
this is not a matter of taking dictation or copying another's records...it all comes from prior year returns.
The former Commish may say that but, I have a client who recently received a collection agency letter the day before he got the notice from the IRS. In addition, he never received any collection letters from IRS. This is a 2016 return that was prepared to include an electronic withdrawal when efiled on time.
I called the IRS and was told that the only notice they have on record was sent two months after the return was accepted to inform the taxpayer that the account number for payment was incorrect. They didn't send any demand for payment letters.
Strange, I know, but it happened.
Strictly by coincidence, CBE Group is located in Iowa, whose Senator Grassley (age 87) is chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has IRS oversight. I'm sure an Iowa voter could solve this problem with little effort, by a phone call to one of the Senator's local offices. Not sure about the rest of the country.
IRS might have suppressed those notices, and not told its collection agencies about it. How much did your client owe for 2016? I thought these accounts that were being farmed out (as they say in Sioux City) were mostly small balances. So small, that your client didn't even notice it was not paid.
Tax due was only 794 but with the delay and no notices it became 1171. by time client was aware of it.
This is the first time I encountered this type of problem. I intend to get them back the penalty and interest due to this being an admin error.