In early 2021, TaxAudit member, Mark, received an IRS Letter 2205-A from the IRS. This letter indicated that the IRS was auditing his 2018 tax return. As a contracted employee working outside of the United States, the IRS was questioning Mark’s foreign residency, employment, and foreign travel claimed on his 2018 tax return. This audit had a proposed balance of over $25,000.
Receiving an audit from the IRS is never a pleasant experience for anyone. Most people could not possibly think of anything worse. However – receiving an audit from the IRS while being stationed outside of the United States might possibly be the worst-case scenario. Thankfully, knowing that his tax situation was complicated, Mark decided to purchase audit defense with TaxAudit while filing his tax returns through TurboTax.
Wasting no time to get the process going, Mark contacted TaxAudit’s Customer Service Department to get his case started. They first assigned him to one of our Case Coordinators, who reached out to him that same evening and requested all the necessary documents to be assigned to a Tax Professional. Mark quickly sent over a complete copy of the letter he received from the IRS, his 2018 tax return, a copy of his photo ID, and a selfie for ID verification. In no time, he was placed in the care of his Tax Professional, Brian.
Brian immediately began working on Mark’s case. He requested the documents needed to begin defending his 2018 tax return and worked out the best means of communication considering their massive time difference. Throughout the initial weeks and months of collecting documents and speaking with the IRS, Brian continually kept Mark abreast of the status of his case.
IRS audits are slow moving and, after six months of working on the 2018 tax year, the audit was expanded to include the 2019 tax return as well. This expansion was also proposing a balance due of over $25,000. Unfortunately, due to the nature of these types of audits, these expansions are very common. Thankfully, Mark had purchased audit defense for his 2019 tax return, and representation from Brian expanded to include this tax year as well.
Weeks continued to turn into months. Brian continually followed up with the IRS’ Revenue Agent assigned to the audit, but the two of them could not come to an agreement. Finally, in September, a manager’s conference was scheduled with the Revenue Agent and their supervisor to discuss their disagreements within the audit. After a short conference call, the IRS agreed to accept the 2019 tax return as filed. In short – they issued a “no change” letter for 2019 meaning that Mark no longer owed the proposed amount of $25,000!
While this was a victory, Brian’s job was only half done. He was still intently working on finding a resolution for the 2018 tax year. Brian could not get the Revenue Agent to see eye to eye with him on the 2018 issues and needed to find another way to defend Mark. Utilizing all resources available to him, Brian enlisted the help of TaxAudit’s Learning and Development Department to do research on Mark’s unique tax situation. Armed and ready with a wealth of knowledge, Brian continued to propel the case forward.
Unfortunately, again, Brian encountered roadblock after roadblock. The audit passed through the hands of several Revenue Agents, many managers were involved, deadlines were promised and passed by, appeals meetings were scheduled, and many emails and phone calls went unanswered. This continued for the majority of the 2022 year; however, Brian and Mark consistently stayed in contact and Mark was updated every step along the way.
Finally, after exhausting every resource available to him to reach the proper people within the IRS, Brian had good news – the audit was done. Not only was the audit complete, but Brian was finally able to get the Revenue Agents to accept Mark’s 2018 tax return as filed. This meant Mark did not owe anything to the IRS! Where at one point he was looking at a $50,000 balance owed, Mark was able to walk away not owing a penny! None of this would have been possible without the excellent working relationship between Brian and Mark and the steadfast dedication of a Tax Professional who exemplified TaxAudit’s core value of “We care for people.”
At the conclusion of his case, after two long years, this is what Mark had to say:
“Mr. Lehrhoff was absolutely excellent throughout the entire audit process. His professionalism and expertise are greatly appreciated as he successfully represented my case during the entire process. In addition to his outstanding service, Mr. Lehrhoff was kind, helpful, informative, and presented a personal interest in fighting for my best interests. I cannot thank him enough!”
*Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.
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