Tax notices only go to, you, the client. Even if an accountant e-filed your return and even if the “may discuss this return with preparer” box was ticked, notices only go to you. Similarly, with payroll. Even if you have a payroll company or an accountant processing payroll for you, tax notices will still go to you alone.
Notices are sent via the USPS. Some agencies may send electronic messages if you’ve enrolled in such services. For example, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services sends digital copies of PDF letters to an online message box on their Employer Resource Information Center (ERIC) website.
Just because you get a letter doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong, but action may be required. Don’t let the letters pile up in a folder until tax time. Read it, and if any action is required, or if you have any questions at all, scan a copy over to your accountant for review.
Aside from notifications of errors or missed filings, the most common payroll-related mail would be a change in deposit frequency. In other words, the government agency would notify you that owing to the dollar amount of wages paid or taxes withheld that instead of submitting a quarterly return you must now submit monthly returns.
It is important to make these frequency changes in your payroll software or pass the letter along to the accountant managing your payroll as your accountant and payroll service provider will not have received this notice.
Failure to update this information likely will result in penalties and interest.
You will not get a text message or a social media message from the IRS. The IRS has rules about the ways they contact people. The first contact from the IRS will be via the US mail the overwhelming majority of the time. Payments to the IRS will always go to the US Treasury and will never be in the form of gift cards.
When in doubt, gather credential information from the person who claims to be an IRS agent, obtain representation (it’s your right), and contact the IRS on your terms (i.e., look up the phone number yourself and call back or send a letter).
If you’re still unsure about the notices that you’ve received please contact a certified accountant. Szweda Consulting is a Cleveland-based accounting firm with a national reach and a focus on saving you time and more importantly, sharing our expertise to help you run your business. Call us today with questions at (216) 509-1561.