It’s tax time. If you’re preparing your tax returns yourself, you may run into a situation you need to ask someone about.
Who do you call?
A lot of people try to call the IRS to get their questions answered. But they might be very surprised to find out what really happens when they call.
- You may get the wrong answer.
For decades, the IRS phone answers have been independently reviewed for the accuracy of the answers they give.
They goofed anywhere from 15% – 50% of the time, depending on the time of day and the tax qustions being asked.
That’s right. They get it wrong a LOT and if you take their advice, and it’s wrong, YOU pay the penalty and interest. In other words, they have no liability for giving you wrong information.
In 2014, in an attempt to stop the untrained IRS agents from giving out wrong information, the IRS put up a series of videos to explain foundational tax issues. Three of the videos were wrong.
So, probably your best bet isn’t to count on the IRS to get an answer, at least not an accurate answer.
- You may get your personal information aired in public.
A taxpayer called the IRS to try to unravel a refund issue. The refund had been applied to a wrong year, according to the taxpayer. That happens and that’s not why there is now a lawsuit.
It seems that the IRS agent had previously called the Howard Stern radio show and not hung up the phone when he took the taxpayer call. All of the personal data was aired live on the Howard Stern show.
There are so many things wrong with that story, like what was the auditor doing calling the Howard Stern show on the IRS line and during business hours? Guess we’ll find out more provided this case makes it to court.
- You can’t find the number to call or the agent will refuse to answer.
Most likely, this is what will happen these days. IF you can find the number to call the IRS and get a live person (after hours on hold), the agent will tell you talk to a trained tax professional or send you to the website to watch a video. Hopefully, it’s a video with correct information. Because if it’s not and you use it, you pay the penalty.
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If you want a free tax answer, you might have to wait. Go to https://www.ustaxaid.com/tax-question/ and submit your question. Then, keep watch on the blogs. Answers will be discussed in blogs sometime in the next 30 days or so.