Dealing with the IRS as a Bookkeeper
Image from https://www.acs.edu
Many bookkeepers find themselves in the position of needing to talk to the IRS on behalf of their clients. Because of this, it’s important that bookkeepers keep careful records for their clients and double check that everything is accurate.
When you must deal with the IRS, keep a record of the conversations, what happened, and the dates they occurred. If there is any written communication, keep copies of all of it, along with any available receipts.
Whenever you must talk to the IRS for a client, consider these guidelines.
1. Have a Paper Trail
Keep a record of all documentation between you and the IRS. This may include letters along with financial documents, such as receipts, canceled checks, and tax returns.
Keep a folder just for the communication with the IRS so you always have something to refer back to.
2. Send Everything Certified Mail
Since most IRS documentation is on a strict deadline, make sure to send everything by certified mail. This ensures you have proof should there be a question of a missing document or late receipt of a document.
Track the mail when you send it and pay for the return receipt, so you have even further proof of receipt of the documents.
3. Follow Up
If you don’t hear anything from the IRS for 6 to 8 weeks after sending the documents, follow up. Sometimes you have to send a second set of documents, which you should label as ‘second attempt’ so they are aware you already sent them and are trying again.
4. Deal with Mistakes
Mistakes happen, but don’t ignore them. If you made a mistake, admit it and see what you can do about correcting it. Ignoring the issue can only make the problem worse. If you prove it was an honest mistake and nothing malicious, the issue can usually be resolved quickly.
If you need any help making heads or tails out of how to deal with the IRS, we’re here to help. Contact us today to see how we can assist you.