TIGTA: Resolution of Math Error Disputes Often Late, Sometimes Wrong

Journal of Accountancy, November 2011 | Go to article overview

TIGTA: Resolution of Math Error Disputes Often Late, Sometimes Wrong


In taxpayer disputes over its correction of math errors on returns, the IRS was wrong 17% of the time and late in resolving disputes 40% of the time, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found.

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IRC [section] 6213(b)(1) allows the IRS to adjust items on tax returns without an audit for math or clerical mistakes including computational errors, tax credit claims that exceed allowable limits, and incomplete or incorrect supporting information including missing or incorrect Social Security numbers and missing documentation. The Service has been using this authority increasingly in recent years, with much of the higher level of errors stemming from the making work pay credit and its interaction with stimulus payments and credits

When it makes math error adjustments to a taxpayer's tax return, the IRS sends a notice to the taxpayer. The taxpayer then has an opportunity to dispute the IRS' adjustment. Under IRS guidelines the taxpayer should receive a final response from the IRS within 30 calendar days from the taxpayer's initial telephone call or written correspondence. …

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