Campus Correspondence Audit Process & Resolution

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Note - Any federal tax advice contained in this transcript is intended to apply to the specific situation described and should not be considered official guidance independent of the presentation. The tax advice and statements contained herein should not be relied upon without first consulting a tax professional. This transcript has been edited for technical accuracy and may differ slightly from the audio recording of the Campus Correspondence Audit Process & Resolution phone forum. This information is current as of July 14, 2010. Since changes may have occurred, no guarantees are made concerning the technical accuracy after that date.

N. LeBlanc: Good day, everyone.  My name is Nancy LeBlanc.  I am a Senior Stakeholder Liaison with the Internal Revenue Service and I will be your moderator for today’s event.  Thank you for participating in our national phone forum on Campus Correspondence Audit Process & Resolution. 

Now, here’s some background information on today’s speaker.  Mike Landsmann is a Senior Tax Analyst for SBSE headquarters exam policy.  Mike has worked for the IRS for over 25 years.  He has worked in headquarters for campus exam for the last nine years.  In this position he issues guidance to the campuses on various issues examined through correspondence. 

In recent years Mike has been very active in addressing practitioner concerns related to these examinations.  In addition to a diverse campus background, Mike has also held positions with the regional taxpayer advocate, campus returns processing, quality assurance, and held front line and mid-level management positions in the Philadelphia campus.  With that, I’ll turn it over to our presenter, Mike Landsmann.

M. Landsmann: Hello.  Again, my name is Mike Landsmann.  I’m a headquarters analyst from the team with policy responsibility for campus correspondence examinations.  Thanks for making the time today to participate in this forum.  I will speak about the IRS’ correspondence exam program and will provide you with general information about our correspondence examination.  We hope that you find this information useful and beneficial.  Please move to slide two.  If you’re looking at this online from the file that was e-mailed you, you can scroll down to see every other slide.  There are two slides per page. 

Here are the topics we will cover today.  These topics were compiled based on feedback and concerns voiced to the IRS.  We see these topics being the most of interest to tax practitioners and preparers.  Ideally, your area of interest will be covered in this forum.  First, we’ll go over the role of correspondence examination.  I’ll explain why the correspondence examinations are so important to the Service’s compliance strategy.  Then we’ll discuss inventory selection.  I’ll discuss the major types of correspondence examinations and how we select a tax return for audit.  We’ll also give you an example of how we select and prioritize our work.

We’ll go over the notice process.  I’ll talk about the timing of our notices and the types of letters we use to open an examination.  We’ll discuss our workflow.  I’ll briefly cover how we conduct correspondence examinations and will provide a detailed process map. 

We’ll also discuss how to respond.  I’ll cover some of the key points to consider when responding to a correspondence examination letter.  We’ll also go over concerns raised by practitioners and our corrective action.  I’ll discuss our recent efforts to improve our processes based on practitioner feedback that we’ve received from you and your peers.  At the end I’ll go over some common questions that we’ve heard, and again, there will be time to answer questions you have about the process.  Please go to slide three.

Correspondence examinations are very efficient and allow for broad compliance coverage.  They require much less time to conduct than an office audit or an audit done at the field office by a revenue agent or a tax compliance officer.  A correspondence examination is generally conducted by a correspondence exam technician.  These employees receive extensive tax law training and CPE each year on tax law changes and any emerging issues.  Because of their efficiency and general effectiveness, the service has increased its use of correspondence examinations considerably over the past ten years. 

Correspondence examinations are conducted out of a campus operation.  You may have heard us refer to a campus as a service center in the past.  When the IRS restructured to its present organization of business units, a service center was assigned a set geographic area for its correspondents’ examinations.  Today each campus works a national inventory.  This helps to explain why you may be dealing with two or more campuses if you have clients who live in the same area and were selected for a correspondence examination.  There are several factors that determine the assignment of a correspondence examination to a campus:  schedules attached to a return, campus’ need for work; and the audit issue being examined.

In our Small Business Self-Employed, SBSE business unit, we conduct correspondence examinations on returns that have a Schedule C, a Schedule E, Schedule F, or Form 2106 attached to the return.  However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that our audit will focus on these schedules.  Our SBSE campuses are:  Brookhaven, located in Holtsville, New York; Cincinnati, located in Covington, Kentucky; Memphis, in Memphis, Tennessee; Ogden, in Ogden, Utah; and Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The Service’s Wage and Investment division also conducts correspondence examinations.  Their exam operations are in Andover, Massachusetts; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Fresno, California; and the City of Missouri. You will get a sense of the growth of the use of correspondence examinations on the next slide.

The chart on page four shows the growth of campus correspondence examinations over the past ten years.  As you can see, the Service has significantly increased in number of correspondence examinations from just under 400,000 ten years ago to just over a million in each of the last few fiscal years.  We expect that number will continue to grow in the future.  We’re continually evaluating what issues can be audited via correspondence examination to support the steady increase in coverage.  We will test or pilot an audit issue to evaluate its suitability for our correspondence examination.  We consider the complexity of the tax law as it pertains to the audit issue and other factors such as taxpayer burden.  Presently, we are looking at the Schedule C to increase our correspondence examination coverage.  For example, we have developed selection criteria and training for the advertising expense on Schedule C.  Please go to slide five.

While we look to expand the use of correspondence exams, we also work to ensure we have balance in our audit coverage.  A few years ago the service was criticized for putting too much emphasis on low income taxpayers.  For the purpose of this comparison we’ve defined a low income taxpayer as an individual who is eligible or received the earned income tax credit, even if the earned income tax credit was not the subject of the examination. 

As you can see, we have significantly decreased the percentage of low income taxpayers who are brought in to our correspondence exam program.  This data represents all examinations of individuals, which includes field and office examinations.  This explains why the numbers are slightly different than the previous slide.  Please go to slide six.

The criteria for a correspondence examination is pretty straightforward.  First, we have a defined scope, single or limited audit issues.  The focus is on a specific schedule or line item on the tax return rather than the entire return.  The audit issues are generally less complex when compared to an examination or audit conducted by a revenue agent or a tax compliance officer in a field office.

Second, we focus on recordation to support tax return entries.  The correspondence examination essentially asks for documentation or recordation to support an entry on a tax return or schedule.  If the requisite documents or records are not provided we will disallow the item.  Here are some examples.  We will ask for receipts to support a car or truck expense on Schedule C.  We may ask for canceled checks and statements to support a charitable contribution deduction.  We may ask for birth certificates and school records to support an exemption or claim for the earned income credit.  Finally, there is limited potential for face-to-face interview or a discussion with the taxpayer or the representative or preparer.  While at times these issues seem like it would be best to resolve face-to-face, the majority of these issues can be and are resolved through the mail.  Please go to slide seven.

Here we’ll talk a little about campus inventory selection.  We’ve developed several formulas that analyze the complete set of data from a tax return to identify potential compliance risks.  For the most part, these formulas are updated each year.  These formulas used the results of prior audits, information from third party and entries made on the tax return.  The results of prior audits suggest what returns may have a higher potential for a tax adjustment than others.

 Contacts with third parties will tell us if the supporting information returns, such as W-2, is incorrect or false.  Entries on the tax return are compared and analyzed to look for seemingly contradictory or disproportionate entries.  For example, a return with no business income should not have an entry for fuel tax credit.  We also receive a significant number of referrals from our peer and criminal investigation or from the enforcement activities related to return preparers or promoters, such as the groups in our Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions group.  Our correspondence examinations support our colleagues in their efforts.  For example, the results of our audits are considered when sentencing an individual who was convicted of a criminal charge involving a tax law.  Please turn to slide eight.

The pre-refund examination, also referred to as a pre-refund audit, will stop a tax refund from being issued until the examination is completed.  Service’s found pre-refund audits to be effective in preventing revenue loss.  We only conduct a pre-refund correspondence examination for those returns where we feel most confident that the outcome of the correspondence examination will result in a tax adjustment or a disallowance of the tax credit, or when there’s a high likelihood of collection risk.

We formulate our decision to conduct pre-refund examinations based on the analysis of prior year examinations and the characteristics of the return that suggests tax adjustment is likely.  We will also stop the refund from being issued if we have verified that a supporting information return, such as a Form W-2, is false through third party contact.  Finally, we stop the refund if there’s an unallowable condition that needs to be resolved through a correspondence examination, such as an entry for fuel tax credit where there is no business income.  Post refund issues are worked after the refund has been issued and the return data has been completely analyzed.  Please go to slide nine.

Here are some of the primary audit issues we address via correspondence examination.  The earned income tax credit:  the correspondence examination is the best venue to quickly conclude an audit involving the earned income tax credit.  Basically, we will ask for the documentation, such as a birth certificate or school records, to support the claim for a refund. 

Certain non-filing conditions:  we receive information from third parties such as employers and payers of interest, which we then use to correlate against the tax return.  If we find that no tax return has been filed, we will prepare a return using the third party information via the correspondence exam process.

Schedule A issues:  The Schedule A is a growing part of our inventory and also an area with a high level of incorrect … deduction.  For example, we have recently increased our number of correspondence examinations dealing with employee business expense, or EBE.  The preliminary results showed that this overall is conducive for correspondence examination.  For example, we have a high percentage of examinations where the individual agreed that the EBE was incorrect.  With Schedule A we also cover charitable contributions.  We continue to see a lot of mis-reporting with charitable contributions and we address this through correspondence examinations. 

Finally, emerging issues, like the first-time home buyer’s credit this year.  These are also considered for correspondence examinations.  We also work a broad number of other issues on the tax return and the supporting schedules, such as self-employment tax or adjustments to income, such as alimony, but these are major inventory sources.  Go to slide 10.

Let’s walk through a correspondence examination involving the earned income tax credit.  We receive information from other governmental agencies and third parties that we use to validate the information on a tax return.  Federal case registry, or FCR, data provides us with custodial information for a dependent or qualifying child.  Please go to slide 11.

We also use information from the Social Security Administration to validate that the social security number, or taxpayer identification number, is correct.  Social security data tells us the name associated with the SSN and also the date of birth. As with all of our inventory, we use not only third party information, but also prior results to project potential for a tax adjustment or disallowance of the tax credit.  Certain attributes on the return will determine the tax adjustment potential.  

Once the entries on the tax return with EITC are analyzed, they’re weighted based on the potential for tax adjustment.  We then rank the returns and select those returns with the highest potential for tax adjustment or the highest compliance risk. Please turn to slide 12.

Earlier, I mentioned that we will hold the refund until the audit issue is resolved via correspondence examination.  When we are examining the earned income tax credit, or EITC, generally we will only freeze the EITC amount.  The non-EITC part of the refund will be issued following normal refund guidelines.  We will issue a CP-75 notice to the taxpayer advising them of our intent to audit the EITC amount, and we’ll ask for certain documentation to support their claim for the EITC.  Please turn to slide 13.

Again, the CP-75, the initial letter, will include an attachment that will explain what is being examined and what is needed.  The second bullet is very important:  assignment.  This is part of the efficiency of correspondence examinations, but we understand that this can be a source of frustration for taxpayers or representatives.  Cases are assigned to an examiner only when a reply is received. 

Additionally, when we receive no response back from our contacts with the taxpayer we will systemically advance the examination through the various stages of the audit, first contact, the issuance of a 30 day letter with the report, and the issuance of the 90 day letter or statutory notice of deficiency, and finally, to the closure of the examination.  This is why it’s important to hear from you.  Sometimes more time is needed to gather the requested information.  We won’t know that unless we hear from you.

Cases may also be handled by several correspondence exam technicians or examiners.  Many things affect case assignment, like leave schedules and leveling of work load.  I’ll cover this a little more in depth later in the presentation.  Now, I’ll explain a little about the notice process, as shown on the next slide.  Please turn to slide 14.

On slide 14 you’ll see a timeline of the notice process of the typical earned income credit examination when there is no response to any of our notices.  When the taxpayer responds we update our system to indicate a response has been received.  This prevents the next notice from generating.  These time frames are for domestic cases only.  International cases and overseas addresses are allowed additional time.  If you’re viewing this online, you can zoom in on the page to see a little more detail on this slide. 

At the left hand of the tube you’ll see the notice stream starts with a CP-75 on January 15th.  The suspense time frame on this is set so that the next notice is issued with a report 42 days after the initial notice.  The little pipe notice generation process from 2-7 to 2-26 represents a part of the process that initiates the next notice.  The IRS consolidated much of our print operations into national print sites, and this represents this part of the process.  We can stop the next notice from being issued up until the last ten days of that process. 

After the report is generated, in our example on February 26th, the case is suspended for 45 days waiting for a response.  This allows additional time for mail processing prior to the issuance of a 90 day letter, statutory notice of deficiency.  Again, we go through the notice generation process and we can stop the notice of deficiency up until the last ten days of this process.  Then the notice of deficiency is mailed, in our example on April 30th. 

As you are probably aware the stat notice allows the taxpayer 90 days to petition tax court regarding our proposed assessment.  We still strongly encourage you to try to work with us to resolve the matter during that time.  After the 90 days has expired we will allow additional time to be notified that a petition has been filed, and after 105 days the case is assessed by default.  That means we’re going to assess the amount we proposed.  In our example this happens on August 13th.  That’s the general process for no response domestic EIC cases.  We’ll talk a little bit more about the process for non-EIC no response cases and cases where there is a response a little bit later.  Now, on to slide 15.

There are two general ways a correspondence exam is opened.  The first is an ICL or an initial contact letter, and is generally a CP-75 for EIC, or a 566 letter for our other inventory.  We use the ICL on most of the issues we examine.  The ICL states what’s being examined and asks for supporting documentation.  It also does not propose a balance due.  Again, the ICL without a report is used on all EIC examinations and most of the other issues we work.  The next slide will discuss our other contact letter.  Please go to slide 16.

Our other type of letter, a combo letter, usually a 566B letter, combines the opening of the examination and the report into the first contact.  The combo is used when there’s some certainty about the liability or the issue is yes or no.  A combo letter reduces the time of the overall examination.  It also clearly presents the liability.  Alternative minimum tax, for example, is clear when we show the proposed liability instead of just asking general questions about alternative minimum tax.  Non-filers are another example where we use the combo letter, although these taxpayers have been asked to file prior to the beginning of the examination.  Because of concerns raised by practitioners and the national taxpayer advocate we reviewed and made changes to significantly reduce the use of combo letters.  On the next slide we’ll show more of the issues involved and the time line of both letters.  On to slide 17.

This graphic, two notice processes for non-EIC shows the ICL, initial contact letter, and combo letter processes side-by-side.  Again, these are the processes for no response cases.   Both processes are similar, with the exception of the first contact.  The initial contact letter process begins on January 15th.  The case sits idle for 45 days waiting for a response to come in.  Then the notice generation process begins, as we discussed before.  We can still stop the next notice from generating up until the last ten days of this process.  From this point forward both processes are identical and the same as the EIC notice process.  There’s a 45 day suspense waiting for a response and the statutory notice of deficiency generation process starts, 105 days suspense waiting for a petition to be filed, and then the case is assessed by default.  Again, these are domestic time frames and show what happens when there’s no response to our notices. 

Some of the issues involved for each kind of letter are also shown here.  For the ICL the issues are:  EBE, employee business expense, charitable contributions, and Schedule C expenses.   For the combo letter:  non-filed returns and AMT, alternative minimum tax.  Please go to slide 18.

This slide, “Examination Workflow,” discusses the general flow of work.  The first aspect is automation.  As the prior slide described, if there is no response the examination moves through the notice process without any manual intervention.  As mentioned on the discussion of the EIC process, the case is not assigned to a tax examiner until a response is received.  We’ve heard some concerns about this.  Once the mail is received the system stops this automation until the correspondence is addressed.  Second is telephone contact.  This is encouraged in our procedures. 

There are some obstacles, though.  Some TEs have an aversion to discussing cases on the phone, and we are working to address and overcome this.  Also, it’s understandable but many taxpayers do not give work numbers where they can be reached during the day, and the majority of our workforce works the day shift.  Finally, tax examiners use judgment when working cases.  This is the people part of the process.

Correspondence examinations are worked in ten different campuses.  One examiner may ask for different documentation and no two cases have the exact same facts and circumstances.  The next slide shows the process in more detail. 

Page 19 shows the general flow of the correspondence exam process.  Again, you can zoom in on this if you’re reviewing it online.  I did not plan to discuss every part of this in great detail, but it gives a good general idea of the flow of work.  It starts, as we’ve covered in the upper left hand corner, with either an initial contact letter or a combo letter.  One of the main points we’re trying to convey is that again the case moves along the process until a response is received.  Then the case is assigned to a tax examiner, the correspondence is evaluated, and follow up actions are taken.  Let’s go through this, following along at the top. 

Again, if an initial contact letter is issued we’ll slide off to the left from the start level and the initial contact letter goes out and we evaluate if the taxpayer responded.  If they did we update the case to mail status and we put it in the queue basically for a tax examiner to take a look at it.  This stops all the notices from being generated.  The case is then assigned to a unit or a tax examiner and then we look if the case can be closed as agreed or accepted as filed.  If it can, we close the case.  If not, we’ll issue the 30 day letter and audit report with proposed changes.  We will also issue that letter if the taxpayer does not respond to our notice. 

Once a 30 day letter is issued we again look, did the taxpayer respond.  Again, if they did we’ll update the mail and we’ll evaluate the response to see if we can close the case at that point.  If not, we will issue a revised report for an explanation of what additional information is needed.  Again, we’ll wait for a taxpayer response, and if there’s no response we will issue the statutory notice of deficiency, or 90 day letter.  Again, we look, did the taxpayer respond? If they did, we’ll put it in the queue and assign it to a tax examiner.  Again, we see if we can close the case; if not, we see if we need to change our report based on the response.  If so, we’ll prepare a supplemental 90 day report with the necessary changes.  Then we’ll prepare a response to the taxpayer.  We’ll also do that if we’re not going to change our determination. 

We will re-suspend the case for the remainder of the 105 day, here it says 106 day, suspense period, again, waiting for the taxpayer to respond.   If there’s no response when that 105 day period expires, we’ll check to see if the taxpayer petitioned tax court.  If they did we’ll refer the case to the appropriate appeals office.  If not, the case is closed and that will be assessed based on our latest report.  On to slide 20.

Here are some key points to consider when responding to a correspondence examination notice.  First, review the tax return.  This should give you an idea of what we’re asking about.  Read the enclosed Form 886, which outlines what information is being requested.  We have a few different versions of this form and these detail what is needed to support this issue.

Answer any questions on any attachments.  The questionnaire for employee business expense, for example, helps give us a better idea of the overall picture of the taxpayer circumstances.  Provide a phone number where you can be reached.  A daytime number is important and providing an evening number is a good idea as well.  Respond by the due date.  This is very important.  Work with the assigned examiner or call us if you need more time to respond. 

Enclose the response page from the examination notice.  This should be the first page on the top of your response to us, with everything else that you’re going to include behind it.  Use the return envelope provided.  Even if you’re filing an amended return, do not use the address where you normally file 1040X’s.  Some of the longest delays are caused by mailing an amended return to another address. 

Use the complete address shown on the provided return envelope if you need to use a larger envelope, including the P.O. box and things like drop points or mail stops.  This will ensure that your reply gets to the office where it’s being worked as quickly as possible.  These are all things that will help resolve the examination as quickly as possible.  That covers the examination process.  On the next page we’ll discuss some of the steps we’ve taken to address your concerns about this process. 

We heard concerns about our processes from the practitioner community.  While we always work to improve our processes based on customer feedback, we have normal customer satisfaction surveys, the consistent themes of the concerns that we’ve heard made us take immediate and thorough action.  We want to thank you for raising these concerns and we appreciate your input. 

Concerns raised notably a few years ago were about premature notices and disregarding submitted documentation.  To address these concerns we first acted to ensure consistency and modified our processes.  We went out to each of our offices to validate how the process truly works.  We found some inconsistencies and we reinforced our procedures and made changes to our systems to allow sufficient time to consider replies.  We asked each site to perform an independent review, and then we, headquarters, reviewed and continue to review the processing at each campus during our annual site visits. 

We also implemented a program change to generate an acknowledgment letter as mail is received.  We also revised and clarified our procedures.  We look at all of our written guidance as it related to time frames to ensure it was clear and consistent.  We resolved inconsistencies that we found and consolidated our guidance into one section of our Internal Revenue manual.  Based on a concern over additional time to respond we also wrote new procedures to address extension requests, people who need more time to respond. 

We also initiated studies on taxpayer behavior and process performance, most notably two studies.  The first was on response behavior.  We engaged our research area to look at how and when taxpayers respond.  That report was wrapped up about a month ago and it found that taxpayers who do respond can generally do so within 30 days. 

Another study on process performance is ongoing.  We have partnered with our Wage and Investment division to take a lean Six Sigma approach to improving mail processing.  We will be testing the pilot solution to this beginning in the fall.  We also continue to look more in depth at adherence to our procedures, including telephone usage. 

Finally, we initiated outreach forums.  We met with one group to discuss their concerns and the actions we had taken to address them.  We conducted focus groups at the tax forums and used that as an opportunity to generate a list of suggested improvements. 

Third, we used presentations like this to gather current feedback.  We wanted you to know that we take your concerns seriously and we’ve worked hard to address them.

Before we move to the question and answer part of the forum I would like to cover some of the common questions we’ve been hearing about the correspondence exam process.  Please turn to slide 22.

Our first question is about our phone service.  Sometimes when I call I spend a long time on hold or listening to a recorded message.  Why is it so difficult to get to the person who’s assigned my case?  We’ve heard many concerns about reaching us by phone.  We looked into the average amount of time our taxpayers wait on hold or in the queue, and we did not find excessively long times. 

On average we found it takes about five minutes for us to answer a call.  We’ve just implemented a change to our phone service that is designed to connect you quickly with the next available assister who will be able to provide you with a complete answer about your case.  This change mirrors the phone service provided by our counterparts in Wage and Investment.  While we hope you will be able to work with the assister who takes your call, the option for a call back by the assigned examiner is available to you.

As we mentioned earlier, our inventories largely work in an automated environment.  Examinations are assigned to an individual tax examiner based on receiving a response in writing.  This is often why speaking with someone intimately familiar with your specific case is difficult.  Cases are re-introduced to the automated process or reassigned after a response is considered.  Our procedures require that our examiners fully document a case so that if necessary another examiner can pick up the case and continue the examination. 

The last thing to note regarding phone service is call back.  We’ve heard a few concerns that no one ever calls me back.  We looked into this and we found that there are some barriers to call backs.  While we expected to find a reluctance to calling taxpayers and practitioners back, we really didn’t hear that from our employees.  One of the things we did hear was that the call block feature on phones often prevents our call from going through.  Also, we are limited in the information we can provide on messages, and our guidance to examiners is that if a call back attempt is unsuccessful, to continue with the examination.  That would be to issue the next notice.  Please turn to slide 23.

Here’s a question about our mail processing.  “I’ve contacted you by mail and haven’t received a response.  How do I know that you’ve received my correspondence?”  Another common theme we’ve heard from the practitioner community is around acknowledgment letters. 

As I mentioned earlier, when a taxpayer response is logged in to the system an acknowledgment letter will generate to the taxpayer.  This can take a few weeks to be received.  If we do not respond back within 30 days what we call an interim letter is generated to let you know the status of the case.  These letters will only go to the taxpayer if we do not already have a power of attorney on file.  Additional letters will also be sent if we do not get back to you within the time promised in the first letters.

If you’re not sure if we received something you sent in, you can always call us and ask.  Please allow about a week or so for us to receive the mail and update our system.  The assister on the phone may not be able to tell you much about the case, other than we’ve received the mail.  This is important, though, because as we covered it will stop future notices from being issued. 

As we said earlier, we’ve been working hard to resolve issues where it appears we’ve issued subsequent notices without considering the mail that’s been sent in.  We continue to look at this process and are working to keep the taxpayer better informed about their case progress and to improve the overall taxpayer experience.  We welcome any suggestions you have in this area.  Please turn to slide 24.

Here’s a question not directly related to correspondence examination, but one we hear often anyway, and the answer does apply to our notices as well.  “I received a CP2000 and I filed an amended return.  When can I expect to hear from you?”  We receive many questions about CP2000 notices.  We understand that these programs seem very similar from the taxpayer’s perspective.  We will address this from our perspective. 

Again, a CP2000 is not a correspondence examination.  As we discussed earlier, AUR, Automated Under Reporter, primarily questions information return discrepancies.  The correspondence exam can request records and documents supporting a deduction or other items on the return.  Time frames and notices are similar in both programs. 

When filing an amended return you should attach it to your response under the response page, basically you don’t want the 1040X to be on the top of the response, and mail it to the office that sent you the notice.  It’s very important, as I said earlier, to make sure you do not send the amended return to the office where you normally file 1040Xs.  This often results in the longest delays in mail processing, and will likely cause you to receive unnecessary notices.  Please turn to slide 25.

Here’s a question about examinations that have been closed.  “My client brought a case to me that has been closed.  Can I do anything to change your determination?”  Even our examination has been closed you still have options if you feel you’ve been assessed an incorrect amount.  The most common avenue is the audit reconsideration process.  More information about the process can be found in Pub 3598.  You may also pay the amount due and file a claim for refund. 

We will reconsider cases when new information is submitted that was not previously considered.  We’ve consolidated some of our reconsideration areas.  The easiest way to find out how to file your specific type of reconsideration is to call the office that originally examined the return.  The assisters on the general 1040 line, 1-800-829-1040, should also be able to tell you where to file.  You may also file directly with the office that examined your return.  Those are some of the common questions we’ve heard.  Please turn to slide 26.

That brings me to the last slide in the presentation.  Here I would like to, again, sincerely thank you for raising your concerns.  You have the opportunity to see how we do business service from a taxpayer’s perspective on behalf of many taxpayers.  Your professional diligence also adds credibility and weight to the concerns that you raise.  We appreciate the feedback, and again I wanted you to know that we really do work hard on addressing problems.  Continue to work with your stakeholder liaison to voice your concerns.

I hope you found this informative.  Thanks again for your time today and your feedback and for partnering with us in our efforts.