Libman Tax - October 2018




Not Your Everyday Halloween Horror Stories

Clients’ Scariest IRS Audits

Everyone knows what it's like to feel afraid: faster breathing, pounding heartbeat, turning stomach, and racing thoughts. But whether your fear stems from a nail-biting horror film, a spine-chilling murder mystery, or a dark haunted house on Halloween, some people actually revel in these feelings of fear. They truly crave having the bejesus scared out of them! Of course, for people like me who feel they’re liable to lose their lunch after just a glimpse of a gory slasher film, it’s almost unfathomable that people can enjoy products or experiences created solely to terrify. But for this month (the spookiest month “IRS tax audits may initially seem like the scariest thing to ever happen to you, but if you receive a notice in the mail, don’t fret.” of the year), I decided to help satisfy thrill- seekers out there by expounding on a topic that strikes fear into the hearts of many: IRS audits. Below you will find the three scariest IRS audit cases I have ever encountered in my 14-year run at Libman Tax Strategies. In 2006, the acronym “FOMO” (fear of missing out) pervaded the American social consciousness as a way to describe the feelings associated with being absent from an important event or happening. For example, if you’re spending the weekend getting caught up on yard work, but then scroll through Facebook only to find photos of your friends’ awesome camping trip, you might feel cheated. A client of mine faced extreme FOMO of a slightly different kind when he missed an IRS notice in the mail. He got on a plane, ready to indulge in relaxing A TERRIFYING TRIP

vacation with his wife. Little did he know, he was selected for an IRS examination. Because he wasn’t home when the letter was delivered, he didn’t respond within the time limit. So, the IRS agent closed the case. After he arrived home, he opened an envelope containing a bill for a whopping $15,000. Fortunately, he and I were able to work together to resolve the issue with a simple audit reconsideration.


If the previous client’s bill of $15,000 scared you, this next war story will really make you jump out of your skin. After he was audited for not filing his taxes for three years, a client approached me for help when he received a bill for $150 million! When you are in the business of selling stocks, the IRS computes the money you owe based on the taxes involved in those sales. During those three years, he had sold stocks totaling more than $500 million in value, which is why his audit bill was so high. In fact, his 1099 stock report reached over 1,500 pages long. After he approached me, we were able to file the taxes that he needed in order to get that bill down to zero. And we did so in only two weeks! This last war story doesn’t include a bill for large sum of money, but it might still give you quite a fright. Recently, people have reported receiving fake IRS phone calls. In fact, more than 15,000 victims in the United States have lost anywhere from $100 to $1 million to the scammers. During these fraudulent calls, a person posing as an IRS agent threatens arrest, deportation, or other penalties if the victims do not immediately pay their debts. Because these scams have been so prevalent recently, when a client of mine received an audit via phone call, he didn’t believe it was real. Not only did he hang up on the agent, but he used a lot of choice expletives to demonstrate his frustration. Of course, once he realized the call was legitimate, we worked together to resolve the issue. Beyond their ability to produce blood-curdling fear, these three stories all have another feature in common: No matter their severity, these cases were fixable. IRS tax audits may initially seem like the scariest thing to ever happen to you, but if you receive a notice in the mail, don’t fret. Give our office a call, and I’ll help calm your fears. A PETRIFYING PRANK

-Adam Libman

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