Philadelphia, PA asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Tax Law for New Jersey

Q: The IRS sent me a letter stating I didn't report income from a 1099c. Upon my investigation on the matter I found out

The 1099c was sent to an old Address from 13 years ago and in my maiden name. How can I be penalized for information I never recieved?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: When you receive a letter from the IRS stating that you didn't report income from a 1099-C, it's important to address the issue promptly, even if the information was sent to an outdated address and in a name you no longer use. The IRS assesses taxes based on income information reported to them, regardless of whether the taxpayer received the documentation personally. It's understandable to feel frustrated about being penalized for information you never received; however, the IRS operates on the principle that taxpayers are responsible for reporting all of their income, whether or not they receive a notice directly.

To resolve this matter, you should contact the IRS directly to explain the situation. It would be helpful to gather any documentation that supports your claim, such as proof of your change of address and name change. Inform them that you did not receive the 1099-C due to these reasons. The IRS can provide guidance on how to amend your tax return to include the unreported income. They may also be able to waive any penalties if you can demonstrate that you didn't willfully neglect to report the income.

Additionally, consider reaching out to the issuer of the 1099-C to request a copy sent to your current address and in your current name. This will allow you to understand the details of the debt cancellation reported. For future reference, ensure all financial institutions, employers, and other entities have your current contact information to avoid similar situations. If you feel overwhelmed, consulting with a tax professional can help navigate the process and ensure your tax records are accurate and complete.

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