IRS Notices and Data Protection
The IRS Notice Freak Out
As a founder or executive, if you have yet to receive the dreaded IRS notice, I promise you that it is probably coming. These have been known to induce terrible symptoms, including an increased heart rate, sweating, a kung-fu grip on your phone, and worst yet- the high pitched emergency call to your accountant.
What to do if you find yourself in this situation
The moment you freak out, stop, breathe, read the letter and remember the following:
- A computer always generates notices. A human plays no part in writing, sealing and mailing the letter to you.
- Notices are always sent through the U.S. Postal Service. The IRS will never ask you for your personal information over the phone, through email, texts or social media.
- You always have the right to dispute the notice if you don’t think it’s correct.
- When in doubt, send the notice to your tax advisor so they can review it.
- If you decide that you need the help of your tax advisor then a power of attorney is needed.
- Fill out Form 2848 Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative
- It usually takes a couple of business days to process the power of attorney before your advisor can speak directly to an IRS representative on your behalf so anticipate some time for the issue to be resolved.
Protect yourself and the ones you care for
I mentioned earlier that the IRS would never ask you for your personal information via phone call, email, texts, or social media. This leads me to the next topic: Personal DATA Protection
Here are a couple of tips to remember:
- Make sure your computer is safe and secure, especially your email. When I request a client to provide their social security number or bank account information I usually advise them to call me. This is a safer way of giving out your information and gives us a chance to chat for 2 minutes.
- If you save your tax returns on your computer make sure they’re password protected and the password is not in the title of the document.
- And if you ever feel like you’ve been a victim of tax-related identity theft make sure to let your tax advisor know, he or she should guide you on next steps.
If you would like to chat further you can find me at email@example.com.
Take a look here for additional reading on IRS Notices.