Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Letter from IRS


My wife received a letter from IRS Kansas City, MO office. It reads, ‘thank you for your correspondence of October 16, 2015. We’re sending your correspondence to our Philadelphia, PA office. Someone will contact you within 60 days’. It references ALL tax periods 2006 to 2014, Form 1040 CIVPEN.  

First off, we/she hasn’t sent any correspondence to the IRS for anything related to this. We have no idea what it’s about. I sent a letter to IRS back in October 2015 requesting a payment plan to pay about $6,000 in taxes for 2014, but that’s the only correspondence we’ve sent. And that payment was made in full about two weeks ago and the check has cleared. We have no other outstanding tax liability. And FYI, we’ve always filed married/joint, not high income earners, $50,000-$100,000 range.

Second, my wife called the Philadelphia phone number listed on the letter and the representative she talked to said she can’t find anything of an outstanding status in the system related to my wife’s SS # or anything related to this specific letter. She did make the comment that civpen refers to civil penalty. That representative referred my wife to the IRS Nashville, TN office bankruptcy specialist (we’re in chapt 13), and that specialist said she CAN pull up the letter but has no idea what it refers to.  

Very strange that, 1. we never contacted the IRS about anything like this AND 2. the fact that one representative doesn’t show anything “outstanding” relating to my wife’s SS # or the letter, and the other representative doesn’t know what the letter means, or so she says.

Obviously, we’ll just wait for any further correspondence, but just wondering, you ever seen anything like this?

Not asking for any specific advice, just trying to understand why she might receive correspondence from something she never initiated, and if it makes sense that two IRS reps don’t understand it either. Thought maybe you’ve run across something similar during your practice.

Thanks so much,


There are a couple of possibilities.

First, it could be a scam. This appears unlikely, as you apparently reached an IRS office.

Second, right now there is a great amount of disfunction at the IRS. The right hand frequently does not know what the left hand is doing. Just wait for more correspondence is my advice.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


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 I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


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.

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DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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