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The #1 Tip for Communicating with the IRS

February 28, 2017

Written By: Tyler Carter

I might need to go into protective custody for what I’m about to announce to the self-directed IRA community but here it goes…the IRS isn’t all bad. I realize that’s like saying that the DMV is a fun place to spend an afternoon or that Pitbull has a few good songs. I know this sounds like an indefensible position, but hear me out. If you’re a taxpayer, you need to know about the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

taxpayer advocacy serviceIn 2014 I cashed in some savings bonds that had matured about ten years prior. I made the mistake of not including my 1099 for the savings bonds when I filed my taxes in early 2015. Fast forward to 2016 when I checked my mail and was overcome with a sense of dread as I discovered a letter from the IRS that stated I owed them about $3000. Embarrassed but with every bit of good intentions, I investigated what had occurred and promptly submitted an online payment.

Historically, I’ve been a bit of a procrastinator but it’s something I’m working to rectify. This year I filed my taxes at the end of January and recently went online to status the delivery of my refund check. With all the headaches that come with being a new homeowner, one of the benefits is all the deductions and a shot at a decent refund. I had planned to use my refund check to finance some new flooring in my family room but it was ultimately me who was floored to learn that that my “refund has been applied to a past due IRS tax obligation.” I made about fifteen attempts to call the IRS with no success of speaking with an actual human. I spoke with a CPA and he informed me that I’d probably have to send a letter or wait until the IRS wasn’t as busy. Neither option seemed ideal so I made a phone call to a college buddy who used to be the life of every party and now works for the IRS (they say nature strives for equilibrium). He understood my frustration and suggested that I call my local Taxpayer Advocate Office.

Enter a gentleman named William Hardy with the Tax Payer Advocate office in Saint Petersburg, Florida. He answered the phone before I had to deal with any sort of automated system. William was friendly and sympathetic. He immediately asked if he could collect my information and informed me that he would look into my issue while I was on the phone. After a few minutes of research while he made small talk instead of placing me on hold, he informed me that my payment had been credited to my 2015 return instead of 2014. I was told not to worry that he would take my case and that I would hear back from him by the end of the week. I asked what I needed to do and he told me to rest assured that he would speak with someone else at the IRS and have them adjust my payment so that my 2016 return would be processed and that I’d hear from his office as soon as the issue is resolved.

I realize that in a perfect world the IRS would have processed my payment for the correct year but in fairness, I also realize that I was the one at fault for not including a 1099 on my 2014 returns. While I experienced a few days of frustration due to call volume at the IRS and an inability to find an answer online, the Taxpayer Advocate Service absolutely exceeded my expectations. It’s a rare occasion that anything positive is said about the IRS but in the interest of preventing an emotionally taxing experience, I’m sharing this tip with my fellow self-directed investors.

tyler carterTyler Carter
Director, Business Development – NuView IRA, Inc.

Tyler  joined NuView IRA as the business development representative for NuView’s retail market with the goal to help expand the knowledge of self-directed IRAs throughout the nation.
To this end, Tyler will be transitioning from his advisory role at Fidelity Investments into an educational position and resource for NuView and its potential clients.

He has been tasked with expanding NuView’s market by targeting professionals such as attorneys, CPAs, and CFPs as well as those in the real estate.
In addition to his experience, Tyler also has extensive knowledge about taxes and fringe benefits, including 401(k) plans, having filled several roles through his five-years of tenure at Fidelity Insurance.