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QUESTION: Hi John,

Here's hoping you can help! I have a bit of a sticky situation. My husband and I were married a little over two years ago, prior to which he was listed on my health insurance as a Domestic Partner. Unfortunately, my company's HR department is split into different parts, and the part I called to notify of my marriage never informed the part managing my benefits of the change in life event, nor did they tell me that *I* had to do so. I recently discovered that my husband was still listed as a DP.

Well, the issue has now been corrected, but all this time I have been paying for his medical/dental premiums on an after-tax basis, as well as paying taxes on the company's cost to cover him (Domestic Partner Imputed Income).  So, I've been told I can file an amended return, which I'm doing this weekend.

I'm really just wanting to confirm - what paperwork do I need to provide my tax preparer, to avoid an audit by the IRS as a result of this amendment? I have all my paystubs from the date of our marriage to the date the change from DP to spouse was made, showing the after-tax premiums paid and the DP imputed. I also have a written confirmation (letter-style) from my HR department that they were not given notice of my marriage from the other department, and that my husband was listed as a DP beginning prior to our marriage and the date the change to spouse became effective. The letter from HR also referencing having a tax professional assist me with filing an amended return. In your opinion, do I have enough supporting paperwork between the leter from HR and my paystubs to try to avoid any unnecessary complications?

ANSWER: Serena,

Thanks for your question.

There is nothing you can do to avoid an audit, it will either happen or not happen.  You do need to keep the records that you mention in case of audit, but submitting them with the return means they will likely be ignored.  However, it does sound as if you have sufficient information to file the amended return.

You just need to give your preparer the information on the changes - the dollars involved and what the changes actually are.  You will also need to provide information so he can include a narrative on the return of the reason for the changes.  Also, if this preparer does not have a copy of your prior returns you need to provide those.  You will need to file an amended return for each year involved, you can't do more than one year on a return.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi John,
thanks for the help you provided on my question before. I have a follow up now. I've been to see my account today and he's told me that I cannot file an amended return until my employer goes back and corrects all of my paychecks between when I got married and when my spouse's status was corrected and then files a w2 C & a w3c. But, I did ask my employer's HR department before about correcting my W 2's and they said because of plan administration rules and system limitations they cannot correct the previous two years' W 2's.

At this point ,I'm not sure who to believe - my accountant or my employer. If my employer refuses to go back and correct my paychecks and W 2's, or if they still insist they can't, what can I do? Do I have any recourse other than suing my employer? I really don't want to lose my jo. over this, but I really feel like there could be a few thousand dollars on the line, and I'd really like to get it back.

Thanks again for any help or insight you can provide.

Answer
Serena,

First, my take is that your HR Dept just doesn't want to bother with it.  Complete and file a Form 4852 with the return.  This is a substitute W-2 that you can complete when the employer refuses to provide one.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA

Expertise

I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at www.mybaldcpa.com. I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at www.churchtaxsolutions.com Also visit my blog, www.thetaxdocspot.com. I am listed on Tax Connections at https://www.taxconnections.com/profile/John-Stancil/12258973 Prepare and file your own taxes at www.1040stancilcpa.com

Experience

I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

Organizations
FICPA, NATP, NCPE Fellowship, Lakeland Business Leaders

Publications
The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

Education/Credentials
DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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