Remember when dealing with the IRS

Generally good advice when dealing with any company or government department, but particularly helpful for those of us currently trying to work with the IRS to become compliant with minimum damage to ourselves and our families.

Taxes for Expats reminds everyone of the importance of keeping meticulous notes of every interaction with the IRS. Make sure to write down the date and time of your call, as well as the following information:

  1. Who are you talking to?
  2. How is their name spelled?
  3. What is their IRS identification number?

Remember to be polite. They are obligated to give you this information, so there’s no reason to get into a posturing battle.

I’ve also found it helpful to photocopy all completed tax reports and FBAR forms before mailing them in (and absolutely do keep a record of anything referenced in your filing), and to write the mailing date on the copy. You may also choose to use registered mail – although that can be problematic on cross-border mailings.

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2 Responses to Remember when dealing with the IRS

  1. Bonnie Beresford says:

    Why would registered mail be a problem in cross-border mailings? That is how I sent in my 2010 1040 form.

    • Expat in CA says:

      When I’ve sent registered mail out of Canada, I’ve found that they track it until it passes the border, but the US postal service does not honour it. So you may be paying quite a bit more just for tracking the first few hours, and then no tracking in the US and no confirmation of delivery.

      This has happened to me a couple times with lost letters sent with registered mail. When they don’t arrive at their destination and I call CanadaPost, they tell me that it’s out of their hands and nothing they can do.

      But please don’t take my word for it. Speak with your teller, because it’s entirely possible that there are different kinds of registration.

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