Tax Planning/Letter from IRS


Hi Richard
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 my wife might receive correspondence from something she never initiated, and if it makes sense that two IRS reps don’t understand it either.

Thanks so much,

Hi Don,
The IRS is a big group with a lot of moving parts. Most of the letters sent out these days are from/by a computer. So, there is a chance that you were sent a letter different than what you might have received if they pushed the right key. As long as all your stuff is up to date - the best thing to do is just wait. 800 829-7650 is the number to call (first thing in the morning) to ask general questions about your account and possibly set up an installment agreement. If you have no liabilities then I would do like you said: wait for another letter. The IRS usually give lots of notice before anything happens. If you owned a business in the 06-14 years that sometimes leads to research on whether you paid all the social security/unemployment taxes. You could call that number with your info and check. Hope that helps, RS

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Richard S


My expertise is in collecting past due taxes and tax returns. While at the IRS I worked on wage and bank levies, liens, Offer in Compromise, late filing and payment agreements every day. I spoke with over 20,000 people concerning their issues while I worked there (just retired).


Ten years working for the the IRS in Collections and tax return review. Worked with over 20,000 people on their IRS issues. Explained their options and usually worked out a solution while they were on the phone.

Masters Degree from Iowa State in Ames.

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