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Making a Difference in the Lives of Our Members

November 28, 2016 | Written by: Dung Vu, EA
Dolly carrying a house
While I have worked on many cases over the years, there is one case in particular that stands out to me – one that I believe is worth sharing. Our valued members received an initial notice stating their moving expense was being disallowed. The moving expenses were well over $2,000 and the members were adamant their expenses were qualified.  After reviewing and analyzing the case with the concerned taxpayers, I concluded the case could be defended against the tax notice. 
Due to my lengthy experience resolving these specific cases, I immediately explained to the members the precise documentation required to substantiate their defense. I received an initial supply of documents from the taxpayers; however, the documents were incomplete. I had a few discussions with the members reviewing the documents and case. My in-depth analysis showed that the taxpayers qualified for a deduction of over $21,000 of moving expenses!  Wow! This was well over their original moving expense deduction of $2,000!
The key to this case was getting the precise documentation the tax authority was requiring. The taxpayers sent me a second large batch of documents that was quite useful, but the right substantiation was still incomplete in my professional opinion. At this time, the taxpayers were relying on a third party to send them the necessary documentation and the delay only added to their frustration. But, after receiving a third batch of documents from the members, I believed the case was ready for submission to the tax authority. Although I was hopeful for the members, I made sure they understood there was no guarantee of success the first time around.
Shortly, after the response was sent, the members received an alarming letter stating they owed over $800! I assured them that, from my experience, the tax authority was likely processing the documents we sent and may have sent the latter letter by mistake. The members agreed with my analysis and waited for the next notice. From beginning to end, it took over 6 months to resolve this case. But the members were happy to announce I was their hero as the tax authority sent them a final letter accepting our argument. The tax authority had approved a deduction of moving expenses over $21,000 and noted that the taxpayers would receive a refund of over $7,000, instead of having to pay $800! These types of results are truly why each of us at come into work every single day: to take stressful situations and to turn them around into positive results that make a difference in the lives of our members.

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