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How would you feel about the IRS if they apologized to you and sent you money to make up for all your troubles?

Plenty of people I know would love it! They've been battered by the IRS, sometimes not because of their own errors. Other times, they have made mistakes but the IRS made it incredibly difficult to correct the problems, even when the right documentation and explanation was offered up. I've worked with some really nice, competent and efficient employees of the IRS. But there are times when I end up feeling terribly burdened by an undereducated employee or one who has much pent up anger.

In the National Taxpayer Advocate's 2007 Annual Report to Congress, a suggestion is made that the Congress should authorize the IRS to give money to taxpayers when "... the action or inaction of the IRS has caused excessive expense or undue burden to the taxpayer, and the taxpayer meets the IRC § 7811 definition of significant hardship."

It is suggested that taxpayers should be eligible to receive between $100 and $1,000 if they fall under these guidelines. And the key? These payments would not be taxable!!!! Hooray. I doubt this will ever happen, but the more I think about it, the more I believe it's a really good idea!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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