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So You Got A Letter In The Mail From The IRS Part Three

By Mallory Megan

In parts one and two in this four part series of articles on mail correspondence with the Internal Revenue Service, I let you know about the three types of mail correspondence that you might receive from the IRS. I wrote about “correspondence audits,” “CP-2000 letters,” and “math error notices.” I let you know that correspondence audits and CP-2000 letters will request that a taxpayer contact the IRS back to present proof of whatever claim they made that was in question. I also informed you that with math error notices however, the IRS will adjust the tax owed before asking the taxpayer to explain, and the current math notice doesn’t even inform the taxpayer of their right to ask the IRS to recheck the work that it did.

Another gripe with math error notices is that the IRS has the power to issue math adjustments for sixteen kinds of errors that include one titled “incorrect use or selection of information” on a tax schedule or form. Math error procedures are being utilized to turn down the new first-time homebuyer credit, the Making Work Pay credit, and the earned income tax credit.

Math error notices bring another problem to the table for taxpayers with their vagueness. The notice will include a nine digit number which represents up to three different three digit coded explanations of the adjustments. Bewildered taxpayers can go online for explanations of the codes, but even at this point they could have problems finding where the mistake occurred. The letters will say there is a mistake, but they won’t tell you where on a form the error was, and we all know those forms have a lot of steps on them!

And just as the amount of things that can be defined as math errors grows, the list of items the Internal Revenue Service audits by mail is increasing as well. These include Schedule C, where sole proprietors report business income and expenses, and Schedule E for investment real estate.

What does this mean in layman’s terms? An audit by mail can cancel out legitimate, but inadequately documented business deductions but it isn’t probable that unreported income will be detected. Possible result? Well meaning, law abiding taxpayers get punished while the real tax cheats get let off the hook. To Be Continued In Part Four.

Mallory Megan works for Rapid Recovery Solution and writes about credit collection agencies .

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MLA Style Citation:
Megan, Mallory "So You Got A Letter In The Mail From The IRS Part Three." So You Got A Letter In The Mail From The IRS Part Three. 3 Jul. 2010. 14 Apr 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Megan, M (2010, July 3). So You Got A Letter In The Mail From The IRS Part Three. Retrieved April 14, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Megan, Mallory "So You Got A Letter In The Mail From The IRS Part Three"

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