help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

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ProfessorX
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help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:51 pm

So I have been using turbo tax and vanguard and doing a backdoor roth for my wife and myself for several years. I learned about the backdoor roth on these forums.

I followed the advice on thefinancebuff for how to report a backdoor roth in turbo tax:

https://thefinancebuff.com/how-to-repor ... botax.html

I am very careful with my taxes and I take twice as long or longer to do them to triple check that everything is correct.

Now the IRS sent me a letter today saying that based upon the 1099-R's that they got from Vanguard that I owe taxes on $11,000 in additional income for the backdoor roth for me and my wife ($5,500 each).

Has this happened to anyone else? Has the IRS started changing their interpretation of the backdoor roth? Thanks!

TallBoy29er
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by TallBoy29er » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:56 pm

Possible that you reported the money you put into the Traditional IRA's as being deductible, as opposed to non-deductible?

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:58 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:Possible that you reported the money you put into the Traditional IRA's as being deductible, as opposed to non-deductible?
I would think that I followed those directions to the T so that I didn't do that but IDK because it was a while ago.... Would I be able to check that by looking at my return? If so how?

EDIT: actually no i reported the money as "nondeductible" on forms 8606 for both me and my wife.

livesoft
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:01 pm

See this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=219466
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ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:11 pm

livesoft wrote:See this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=219466
Thanks! I don't know what was the error but my 8606 says

Line 1 (nondeductible contributions): 5,500
Line 2 (total basis): 0
Line 3 (Add 1 + 2): 5,500
Line 4 (In year, did I take a distribution from traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs, or make a Roth IRA conversion): BLANK
Line 5 (Subtract 4 from 3): 5,500
Line 6 through 12: BLANK
Line 13 (Nontaxable portion of distributions): 5,500
Line 14 (total basis in traditional IRA for year): 0
Line 15 (Taxable amount): 0
Line 16 (amt converted from Traditional to Roth) BLANK
Line 17 (basis for the amount in Line 16) BLANK
Line 18 (taxable amount) BLANK

I guess I should have filled out lines 16-18.

EDIT: my 2016 return done the same way in Turbo Tax says:

Line 1 (nondeductible contributions): 5,500
Line 2 (total basis): 0
Line 3 (Add 1 + 2): 5,500
Line 4 (In year, did I take a distribution from traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs, or make a Roth IRA conversion): BLANK
Line 5 (Subtract 4 from 3): 5,500
Line 6 through 12: BLANK
Line 13 (Nontaxable portion of distributions): 5,500
Line 14 (total basis in traditional IRA for year): 0
Line 15 (Taxable amount): 0
Line 16 5,501
Line 17 5,500
Line 18 1

Is this correct? Thanks!

No idea if the error was mine or TT. Weird that another poster in the other threads says they had the same problem on 2015 but not 2016.


Also so if Turbo Tax filled out my taxes this way and left the Lines 16-18 on my 8606 blank for 2015, then why didn't Turbo Tax conclude that I owed taxes on the $11,000?
Last edited by ProfessorX on Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Vaporvalley
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by Vaporvalley » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:12 pm

I got the same letter from the IRS yesterday. Also for 2015.

livesoft
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:47 pm

I cannot answer your question for Intuit, but maybe it was rhetorical. I can say that tax software always has mistakes and many of them get corrected AFTER the April filing deadline.
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ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:59 pm

Yes thanks again!

So would the following be a correct way to fill out an amended 2015 8606 to account for the backdoor Roth conversion with no tax consequences?

Line 1 (nondeductible contributions): 5,500
Line 2 (total basis): 0
Line 3 (Add 1 + 2): 5,500
Line 4 (In year, did I take a distribution from traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs, or make a Roth IRA conversion): BLANK
Line 5 (Subtract 4 from 3): 5,500
Line 6 through 12: BLANK
Line 13 (Nontaxable portion of distributions): 5,500
Line 14 (total basis in traditional IRA for year): 0
Line 15 (Taxable amount): 0
Line 16 (amt converted from Traditional to Roth) 5,501
Line 17 (basis for the amount in Line 16) 5,500
Line 18 (taxable amount) 1


Thanks!

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Duckie
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by Duckie » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:03 pm

ProfessorX wrote:I don't know what was the error but my 8606 says

Line 1 (nondeductible contributions): 5,500
Line 2 (total basis): 0
Line 3 (Add 1 + 2): 5,500
Line 4 (In year, did I take a distribution from traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs, or make a Roth IRA conversion): BLANK
Line 5 (Subtract 4 from 3): 5,500
Line 6 through 12: BLANK
Line 13 (Nontaxable portion of distributions): 5,500
Line 14 (total basis in traditional IRA for year): 0
Line 15 (Taxable amount): 0
Line 16 (amt converted from Traditional to Roth) BLANK
Line 17 (basis for the amount in Line 16) BLANK
Line 18 (taxable amount) BLANK
Line 4 above doesn't match the paper version: IRS Form 8606. If you contributed $5.5K in 2015 for 2015 and converted 100% of it in 2015 you should have had important amounts on lines 8, 11, 16, 17 and 18. The problem is answering the questions correctly in TurboTax. You need to make sure the software knows that you made a contribution of $XX to a TIRA, that $YY of the contribution was non-deductible, and that you converted $ZZ to a Roth IRA.

The contribution and non-deductibility are handled in the Deduction section. The conversion is handled in the Income section.

When you receive a 1099-R for the conversion and input it into TT somewhere it asks what you did with the money you withdrew. The correct answer is that you transferred it to another plan. Then it gets into whether the other plan was a Roth IRA. That's probably the problem area for the above form.
What is it supposed to say to be correctly reporting the backdoor roth? Obviously I guess I should have filled out lines 16-18.
Here's a sample based on the paper version:

Part I
Line 1 -- 5,500
Line 2 -- 0 (assuming no prior basis)
Line 3 -- 5,500
Line 4 -- 0 or blank (assuming all contribution were made in and for the same year)
Line 5 -- 5,500
Line 6 -- 0 or blank (hopefully, or you'll have to deal with the pro-rata issue)
Line 7 -- 0 or blank
Line 8 -- 5,510 (I gave you a $10 gain)
Line 9 -- 5,510
Line 10 -- 0.99818512
Line 11 -- 5,500
Line 12 -- 0
Line 13 -- 5,500
Line 14 -- 0 (your basis, will go on line 2 next year)
Line 15 -- 0

Part II
Line 16 -- 5,510
Line 17 -- 5,500
Line 18 -- 10 (goes on 1040 form)
EDIT: my 2016 return done the same way in Turbo Tax says:

Line 1 (nondeductible contributions): 5,500
Line 2 (total basis): 0
Line 3 (Add 1 + 2): 5,500
Line 4 (In year, did I take a distribution from traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs, or make a Roth IRA conversion): BLANK
Line 5 (Subtract 4 from 3): 5,500
Line 6 through 12: BLANK
Line 13 (Nontaxable portion of distributions): 5,500
Line 14 (total basis in traditional IRA for year): 0
Line 15 (Taxable amount): 0
Line 16 5,501
Line 17 5,500
Line 18 1

Is this correct? Thanks!
That's an odd way of doing it, but the numbers that count are correct.

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:15 pm

Duckie wrote:
ProfessorX wrote:I don't know what was the error but my 8606 says

Line 1 (nondeductible contributions): 5,500
Line 2 (total basis): 0
Line 3 (Add 1 + 2): 5,500
Line 4 (In year, did I take a distribution from traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs, or make a Roth IRA conversion): BLANK
Line 5 (Subtract 4 from 3): 5,500
Line 6 through 12: BLANK
Line 13 (Nontaxable portion of distributions): 5,500
Line 14 (total basis in traditional IRA for year): 0
Line 15 (Taxable amount): 0
Line 16 (amt converted from Traditional to Roth) BLANK
Line 17 (basis for the amount in Line 16) BLANK
Line 18 (taxable amount) BLANK
Line 4 above doesn't match the paper version: IRS Form 8606. If you contributed $5.5K in 2015 for 2015 and converted 100% of it in 2015 you should have had important amounts on lines 8, 11, 16, 17 and 18. The problem is answering the questions correctly in TurboTax. You need to make sure the software knows that you made a contribution of $XX to a TIRA, that $YY of the contribution was non-deductible, and that you converted $ZZ to a Roth IRA.

The contribution and non-deductibility are handled in the Deduction section. The conversion is handled in the Income section.

When you receive a 1099-R for the conversion and input it into TT somewhere it asks what you did with the money you withdrew. The correct answer is that you transferred it to another plan. Then it gets into whether the other plan was a Roth IRA. That's probably the problem area for the above form.
What is it supposed to say to be correctly reporting the backdoor roth? Obviously I guess I should have filled out lines 16-18.
Here's a sample based on the paper version:

Part I
Line 1 -- 5,500
Line 2 -- 0 (assuming no prior basis)
Line 3 -- 5,500
Line 4 -- 0 or blank (assuming all contribution were made in and for the same year)
Line 5 -- 5,500
Line 6 -- 0 or blank (hopefully, or you'll have to deal with the pro-rata issue)
Line 7 -- 0 or blank
Line 8 -- 5,510 (I gave you a $10 gain)
Line 9 -- 5,510
Line 10 -- 0.99818512
Line 11 -- 5,500
Line 12 -- 0
Line 13 -- 5,500
Line 14 -- 0 (your basis, will go on line 2 next year)
Line 15 -- 0

Part II
Line 16 -- 5,510
Line 17 -- 5,500
Line 18 -- 10 (goes on 1040 form)
EDIT: my 2016 return done the same way in Turbo Tax says:

Line 1 (nondeductible contributions): 5,500
Line 2 (total basis): 0
Line 3 (Add 1 + 2): 5,500
Line 4 (In year, did I take a distribution from traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs, or make a Roth IRA conversion): BLANK
Line 5 (Subtract 4 from 3): 5,500
Line 6 through 12: BLANK
Line 13 (Nontaxable portion of distributions): 5,500
Line 14 (total basis in traditional IRA for year): 0
Line 15 (Taxable amount): 0
Line 16 5,501
Line 17 5,500
Line 18 1

Is this correct? Thanks!
That's an odd way of doing it, but the numbers that count are correct.

Thanks!

That is the way Turbo Tax did it on my 2016 return. I don't know why. I answered the questions the way the finance buff recommended exactly.

FB01
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by FB01 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:24 pm

Were you able to figure out what incorrect line item you filled or missed when you filled in Turbotax?

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:28 pm

FB01 wrote:Were you able to figure out what incorrect line item you filled or missed when you filled in Turbotax?
I may have checked a wrong box or it may have been a bug in turbo tax. Several people on the forum have had the exact same issue in the same year 2015 but not in 2016. Just like me. Impossible To go back and remember whether I clicked a wrong box two years ago.

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celia
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by celia » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:53 pm

ProfessorX wrote:Impossible To go back and remember whether I clicked a wrong box two years ago.
Your 2015 tax software will still work. When you start it up, just ignore (cancel out) any suggestions to update the software (unless you are reloading the software from scratch again).

The easy way to see what is wrong (if your 2015 tax situation was similar to 2014) is to compare the submitted forms for the two years. This is best done if you didn't have any changes in circumstances, like different marriage or dependent status between the two years. You will be focusing on line 15a, 15b and Form 8606. Keep this in mind for future years.

ProfessorX, You said you did a backdoor Roth for you and your wife. You should each have an 8606. If one of you doesn't, that person's data entry was done incorrectly.

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:05 pm

celia wrote:
ProfessorX wrote:Impossible To go back and remember whether I clicked a wrong box two years ago.
Your 2015 tax software will still work. When you start it up, just ignore (cancel out) any suggestions to update the software (unless you are reloading the software from scratch again).

The easy way to see what is wrong (if your 2015 tax situation was similar to 2014) is to compare the submitted forms for the two years. This is best done if you didn't have any changes in circumstances, like different marriage or dependent status between the two years. You will be focusing on line 15a, 15b and Form 8606. Keep this in mind for future years.

ProfessorX, You said you did a backdoor Roth for you and your wife. You should each have an 8606. If one of you doesn't, that person's data entry was done incorrectly.
Yes we both have 8606 forms. I used the web version not the downloadable tax software. I honestly don't think I entered anything incorrectly. And I think the number of people with the same exact 2015 issue on these forums is evidence of that. But it's impossible to check one way or the other.

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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by travellight » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:07 pm

Does this seem late to be notified about this?

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:19 pm

Yes in case anyone was still wondering I checked all of my Turbo Tax Web made Tax returns going back to my 2012 return and in every year except for 2015 forms 8606 are filled out correctly. Makes me think Turbo Tax probably had a bug in their Web code that they fixed.

Goodman60
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by Goodman60 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:00 am

I just got one of these notices too, for 2015, for a backdoor Roth, and believe I did the tax return right. So I returned the IRS notice with copies of my original Forms 1040 and 8606 and circled, in red, the lines in question. I replied by Certified Mail. Hopefully I'll get a "no change" letter soon.
Last edited by Goodman60 on Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:28 am, edited 4 times in total.

Goodman60
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by Goodman60 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:24 am

Also, for what it's worth, my experience from prior such letters suggests that in about 30 days I'll get a notice saying that they received my reply and will process it soon. And in another 30 days they'll send a "no change" letter, or will want something else which will require another reply cycle and 60 days to process. :?

retiredjg
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by retiredjg » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:20 am

travellight wrote:Does this seem late to be notified about this?
No. I think this is right on time. The filing date for extensions for 2015 taxes was on or about October 15, 2016.

retiredjg
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by retiredjg » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:38 am

Duckie wrote:Line 4 above doesn't match the paper version: IRS Form 8606. If you contributed $5.5K in 2015 for 2015 and converted 100% of it in 2015 you should have had important amounts on lines 8, 11, 16, 17 and 18. The problem is answering the questions correctly in TurboTax. You need to make sure the software knows that you made a contribution of $XX to a TIRA, that $YY of the contribution was non-deductible, and that you converted $ZZ to a Roth IRA.
I mostly agree with Duckie, but will mention a few things we have seen in relation to what I highlighted in blue above.

1) Some software does not fill in lines 6 through 12 even though it comes up with the right numbers on the other lines. So the lack of numbers in 6 - 12 alone does not indicate something is wrong.

Someone tracked this down and it has something to do with some worksheets in Pub 590 A and B. Most people doing this by hand will never use those worksheets and do end up with numbers on lines 6 - 12. Bottom line - if all else seems right, don't get worried about blanks on lines 6 - 12.

2) As for lines 17 and 18, we've had a couple of what appear to be reliable reports that the 2015 TT software just bungled this and left those two lines blank when they should not be blank. Nevertheless, line 14 and 15 are done correctly. In contrast to the above, if that section is blank, there is definitely something wrong and it will trigger the IRS letter a couple of years later and the form will have to be corrected.

An alternate explanation was that there is an interview question that is easy to misinterpret and answer wrong and that is why lines 17 and 18 are blank....Of course, nobody knows how they answered a certain question that long ago so who knows?

If I got such a letter, I'd just skip the software entirely and fill in Form 8606 by hand and send it off. (Unless they say you have to do 1040x.)

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:33 am

Thanks so much to everyone for all your help!

Ok can I ask another question on this issue?

My notice CP2000 from 2015 says that I owe taxes on $5,500 x2 + $3,750. The $5,500 x2 is for the two backdoor roths that I do believe that I owe taxes on.

However the $3,750 is for maternity leave disability pay that I probably do owe taxes on... long story short this was not on my wifes w2 but her company uses a payroll company that appears to have reported it to the IRS possibly in a second w2 that we do not believe that we received. So we thought this amount was on her first w2, which is the only one that we remember receiving.

So the total tax bill is $4,129 taxes plus $210 in interest for a total of $4,339.

My question is the following... is there a good way for me to figure out how much tax I should pay to cover the undereporting by $3,750 plus interest?

Is doing a quick percentage based calculation. So If take 3750/(3750+5,500 x2) x 4,339 to calculate the percentage of the whole amount and then I get that I might owe $1104 in taxes. Is that a reasonable way to do it?

livesoft
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by livesoft » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:44 am

ProfessorX wrote:My question is the following... is there a good way for me to figure out how much tax I should pay to cover the undereporting by $3,750 plus interest?
Yes, use tax software to file your new amended 1040X.
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ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:47 am

livesoft wrote:
ProfessorX wrote:My question is the following... is there a good way for me to figure out how much tax I should pay to cover the undereporting by $3,750 plus interest?
Yes, use tax software to file your new amended 1040X.

Turbo Tax?

Edit: well I just spent an hour on hold with the IRS and then they hug up on me without ever transferring me to a person.

retiredjg
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by retiredjg » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:19 am

I'd let the IRS calculate it. Or give it a good guess using percentages and let them correct it if you pay too much or too little.

Respond to the letter and do what the letter says. If they did not ask for 1040X I would not do one.

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:44 pm

Thanks! I'm gonna send them a letter certified mail tomorrow with a check for $1104 and revised 8606 and a few other forms, and I'm not gonna fill out a 1040X unless they ask me to do so. I really appreciate all the help!

edit: upon further review it seems that the letter does suggest in a sub paragraph that in my situation then I should file an amended return. good thing turbo tax appears to let me do that for free..

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:07 pm

Oh sorry one more question.

If I file an amended federal return 1040X but according to turbo tax I don't owe any additional PA state taxes, then do I also need to additionally refile an amended PA state tax return?

Thanks!

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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by sophie1 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:53 pm

Goodman60 wrote:I just got one of these notices too, for 2015, for a backdoor Roth, and believe I did the tax return right. So I returned the IRS notice with copies of my original Forms 1040 and 8606 and circled, in red, the lines in question. I replied by Certified Mail. Hopefully I'll get a "no change" letter soon.
I'm glad to hear many others have had the exact same issue with Turbotax online 2015. It definitely must have been a bug that was fixed at some point after we all filed. I really wish Turbotax had sent a warning to people affected by the bug, after they discovered it. I'd have filed an amended return and saved myself the trouble of dealing with the letter.

Goodman60 I also hope you get good news in the mail soon. I went with Audit Defense, since I bought the "insurance" and figured I might as well test it out. Glad I did, because I am most definitely not going to buy it next time around. It ended up being more time spent and more fuss than simply doing it myself.

BTW my reading of the letter indicated that it was sufficient to send in a corrected copy of Form 8606. No need to file an amended return. The Audit Defense advisors delved into all sorts of things not directly relevant to the letter (I felt like *they* were auditing me!!), but they also said an amended return wasn't necessary.

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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by Goodman60 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:29 pm

Update: 2.5 months after the IRS received copies of the relevant parts of the original tax return that I prepared, they decided that the backdoor Roth in question was done correctly. And they closed out the matter. Have the rest of you gotten your backdoor Roth inquiries resolved too?

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:55 pm

I am still waiting for a response.

ProfessorX
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Re: help with IRS letter charging for taxes on 2015 backdoor roth

Post by ProfessorX » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:05 am

Just checking back in.
ProfessorX wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:44 pm
Thanks! I'm gonna send them a letter certified mail tomorrow with a check for $1104 and revised 8606 and a few other forms, and I'm not gonna fill out a 1040X unless they ask me to do so. I really appreciate all the help!

edit: upon further review it seems that the letter does suggest in a sub paragraph that in my situation then I should file an amended return. good thing turbo tax appears to let me do that for free..



IRS send me a refund check for around $0.04 a few weeks ago. They agreed with my assessment of what happened. Took them long enough.

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