Posts Tagged ‘CP14’

Deja Vu Again, and Again,…

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Multiple clients of ours filed tax returns near the July 15th deadline and mailed payments to the IRS. And, as usual, these clients received IRS CP14 notices stating they hadn’t paid their taxes (when they had). What should they do?

First, ignoring an IRS notice is generally not a good idea. IRS notices do not improve with age.

The simplest thing to do for individuals is to attempt to view your tax record online. If you can, view your Account Transcript for 2019. If it shows a $0 balance, the IRS has corrected the issue and you can ignore the CP14 notice.

(I have to use “attempt” because the IRS online system works for only half of those who try. For example, the system works for me but does not work for my business partner.)

But what if your check has cleared and the payment hasn’t been noted? Get copies of the front and back of the cleared check. With that, the IRS can trace where the check went. I’ve seen checks applied to the wrong account and the wrong tax year. If your check cleared more than two weeks ago, there’s a problem and you, or your tax professional (if you have authorized him or her) will need to call the IRS and resolve the issue. (If the check cleared in the last two weeks, you need to give the IRS a little more time to update their records.) This can usually be done over the phone.

Three issues this year have made matters worse. First, IRS computers are programmed to allow an extra “cycle” (to allow payments received to be entered into IRS computers) before sending out CP14 notices after April 15th. It appears the IRS hasn’t changed their programming for the July 15th due date, so there’s no extra cycle after July 15th.

Second, because of Covid mail has slowed. One of my clients mailed his payment (using certified mail) on July 14th from Reno; it wasn’t received in Cincinnati until July 23rd. In the past, that letter would take two or three days; this year, it took nine.

The third issue is that at least for Nevadans, we’re no longer mailing payments to San Francisco. This year Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona residents send their payments to Cincinnati. That’s much further away with corresponding later delivery dates. That hasn’t helped.

Individuals have it quite good: Things are far, far worse for businesses, trusts/estates, and anyone else making payments directly to IRS Service Centers. Simply put, the IRS has a backlog of over 10 million pieces of mail to open. Many of those include checks. The IRS knows of the issue, but until this backlog is resolved (and that will take months), there’s little that can be done. The IRS issued a statement acknowledging this issue:

Pending Check Payments and Payment Notices: If a taxpayer mailed a check (either with or without a tax return), it may still be unopened in the backlog of mail the IRS is processing due to COVID-19. Any payments will be posted as the date we received them rather than the date the agency processed them. To avoid penalties and interest, taxpayers should not cancel their checks and should ensure funds continue to be available so the IRS can process them.

To provide fair and equitable treatment, the IRS is providing relief from bad check penalties for dishonored checks the agency received between March 1 and July 15 due to delays in this IRS processing. However, interest and penalties may still apply.

Due to high call volumes, the IRS suggests waiting to contact the agency about any unprocessed paper payments still pending. See www.irs.gov/payments for options to make payments other than by mail.

So if you get a notice alleging you didn’t pay and you did, relax. This is probably a timing issue that will self-resolve. And a reminder that whenever you send something to a tax agency, use certified mail. This gives you proof you mailed it on the date noted. If that was done timely, the IRS will consider your action timely even if the IRS untimely opens the mail.

Deja Vu All Over Again, Again

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Last year I wrote a post noting the following:

A client filed his tax return on October 2nd. He had a balance due (he had made an extension payment, but he still owed some tax). He paid by having his bank account electronically debited with the filing of his tax return. In today’s mail he received a CP14 notice (dated today) alleging he hadn’t paid his balance due. Yikes!

My client was upset. “Russ, you forgot to have my bank account electronically debited.” No, I didn’t forget, and the return shows his payment being accepted for processing. I had a Tax Information Authorization for my client, so I ran an Account Transcript and it showed a $0 balance. My client was relieved, but there appears to be a systemic IRS issue.

The payment went through on October 2nd, but the IRS posted the tax due first (dated October 22nd) without posting his payment. Yet the payment was made, and my client should have never received this notice. It wasted both of our time for no good reason.

Well, history has repeated itself (again). I have two clients (so far) who filed their returns in October, paid by electronic debit with the filing of their returns, and who received CP14 notices stating they owed tax. They didn’t–the payments went through and the IRS shows they received the payments. Yet again, my clients were annoyed (with the bureaucratic stupidity) and both the clients and I had to waste our time chasing down an issue we shouldn’t have had to.

I concluded my post last year with the following:

Several years ago this was an issue for April filers; the IRS corrected the problem by allowing an additional ‘cycle’ before sending out CP14 notices. I hadn’t seen this issue before for extension filers, but it appears we have a case of deja vu all over again. I reported this to the IRS Systemic Advocacy Management System. If you’re a tax professional and run into this issue I urge to to report it, too.

Yes, I reported this again to SAMS. Last year, I was contacted by the Taxpayer Advocate Office/SAMS about this issue. It seems they were not successful in resolving the matter. Hopefully they will be this year.

If you’re a tax professional and your clients receive an erroneous CP14 notice based on this fact pattern, I urge you to report it to SAMS.

Haste Makes Waste

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Or so the cliche goes. And for the IRS, it certainly does.

A client filed his tax return on October 2nd. He had a balance due (he had made an extension payment, but he still owed some tax). He paid by having his bank account electronically debited with the filing of his tax return. In today’s mail he received a CP14 notice (dated today) alleging he hadn’t paid his balance due. Yikes!

My client was upset. “Russ, you forgot to have my bank account electronically debited.” No, I didn’t forget, and the return shows his payment being accepted for processing. I had a Tax Information Authorization for my client, so I ran an Account Transcript and it showed a $0 balance. My client was relieved, but there appears to be a systemic IRS issue.

The payment went through on October 2nd, but the IRS posted the tax due first (dated October 22nd) without posting his payment. Yet the payment was made, and my client should have never received this notice. It wasted both of our time for no good reason.

If this were the only such IRS notice I received this year I’d just ignore the issue, but there were two others I received in today’s mail (one I received as I had authorization for my client, and the other that the client forwarded to me). Both clients have $0 balances, so it appears there is a systemic issue of the IRS being a bit too fast in sending out CP14 notices.

Several years ago this was an issue for April filers; the IRS corrected the problem by allowing an additional ‘cycle’ before sending out CP14 notices. I hadn’t seen this issue before for extension filers, but it appears we have a case of deja vu all over again. I reported this to the IRS Systemic Advocacy Management System. If you’re a tax professional and run into this issue I urge to to report it, too.