What is IRS letter 4464c?

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You have filed your tax return happily awaiting your federal refund to come. On the prescribed day, instead of a refund, you get a letter. These letters,CP5 and 4464C states in brief that the IRS is holding your refund until they do a more thorough review of your return. What does this mean, you ask. The letter goes on to state that they are focusing on the following items of interest on your return:

1. Income: Your wages and /or 1099 Misc income.
2. Federal taxes withheld from your pay and forms 1099.
3. Tax credits that you claimed on your return, such as the Earned Income Credit (EIC).
4. Business income reported on the return, such as from a Schedule C, Profit or Loss Form.

In addition, you are advised the IRS reserves the right to contact other parties, such as your employer whose wages appear on the W2 attached to your return, in order to verify the information on your return. You may be asked to submit documentation to substantiate one or more of the items listed above. The worse part is that your refund can be held up to 45 days in the interim. You wonder whether the IRS's actions are legal. Unfortunately, they are.

However, all is not lost. There is a silver lining in this dark cloud that generally goes unnoticed given that the letter itself throws you for a loop. Should you read the letter from beginning to end, you will find that near the end, the letter states that if you are facing economic harm (hardship) or problems with the IRS system, you may be eligible for Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Assistance. For more information on the function of this office, read my blog topic "Tax Problems? TAS Might Be Your Answer". In short, they are an independent agency within the Internal Revenue Service whose authority comes from Congress to step in when individuals are facing the situations listed above. They can be reached at 1-877-777-4778. This is the office that you contact if the 45 day hold on your refund is coming in midst of a significant hardship that is currently happening or can occur as a result of your refund being delayed.

For example, if you have been laid off from your job and are ineligible for unemployment, you must make the bills like anyone else. Because you are unemployed with no income you have fallen severely behind, with an eviction notice and disconnection notices out of the wazoo. You were counting on the refund to save the roof over your head and keep the gas, water, and lights on yet another day. As long as you can provide substantiation (copies of the notices), the Taxpayer Advocate Service will work as hard as they can to decrease the 45 day time period with respect to your hardship to get the refund released to you as quickly as is humanly possible. In addition, if the IRS requests substantiation of the items shown in the letter, you are able to provide this information directly to the Taxpayer Advocate, who in turn, will give it to the requesting office.

In a sense, this makes the Advocate a liaison between you and the requestor. You provide the necessary information to the Advocate needed to expedite and resolve your request and the Advocate is in place to make sure that it gets to the right people. With this office, deadlines are critical, especially when it comes to hardships. Time is of the essence. When you are contacted by your Advocate, be ready to act and quick to move. Excessive delays can result in your case being closed. Best of all, there is no monetary cost to you; only the time that would have been expended anyway in providing documentation.

With a program such as this, it is little wonder that they are mentioned only in passing in the letter. For those that fail to read, they are missing the hidden jewel amongst all the treasures. If you are able to fully capitalize on what the Taxpayer Advocate Service offers, hopefully, with their help, very soon that refund can be yours.
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