Tax Law

Lawyer tries to persuade IRS it doesn't owe him $285K

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Lawyer Todd Rothbard of Santa Clara, California, tried to reach the Internal Revenue Service after it told him in a Jan. 4 letter that he miscalculated his 2019 taxes, and he is due more than $284,000.

He was unable to reach the IRS at an 800 number on the letter, and he received a check for slightly more than $285,000—apparently because interest was included, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Rothbard said he double-checked with his accountant, and they agreed that the lawyer is not entitled a refund.

“I’m pretty scrupulous,” Rothbard told the newspaper. “There’s no way I’d miss $285,000.”

But Rothbard has so far been unable to persuade the IRS that it is wrong, the newspaper reports.

When Rothbard tried to call the 800 number on the letter, he kept getting a recorded message that said complaints were not being accepted at this time. After getting the check, Rothbard drove to an IRS office. He was told that he had to have an appointment and was given another number and a website address.

He finally spoke with a IRS agent who agreed to review the matter.

The San Jose Mercury News described Rothbard, 71, as “a sometimes cranky but thoughtful conservative who favors free markets and limited government.” He represents landlords and property managers and makes quarterly estimated tax payments.

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