08 / 30 / 12

AICPA Sees Widespread Problem in Erroneous IRS Letters

The American Institute of CPAs has written to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman outlining its concerns with what it sees as a "widespread problem affecting numerous taxpayers": erroneous letters from the IRS to taxpayers filing foreign trust forms.

In a letter from AICPA Tax Executive Committee chair Patricia Thompson, the Institute urged the IRS to investigate to determine the source of the processing problem so it would stop sending out the erroneous letters. The AICPA also recommended that the IRS should consider issuing an announcement that such erroneous letters do not require a response.

"The letters are inconveniencing taxpayers and causing them to incur unnecessary professional fees when practitioners must respond to the IRS explaining why the IRS letters are incorrect and request an abatement of the penalties," the AICPA said in letter to the IRS on Tuesday.

The letters with erroneous conclusions are being received by taxpayers who filed Form 3520, Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts, for 2010 and earlier years.

The AICPA letter described six specific errors the IRS letters claim taxpayers have made, including filing Form 3520 late when it was actually filed on time.

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