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“Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter”

That’s the title of a web page that employers may find helpful upon receipt of an IRS communication asserting liability for employer mandate taxes under Code § 4980H.  It should have an official notice (“CP”) or letter (“LTR”) number on either the top or the bottom right-hand corner.  Entering that number in the search bar on the web page should display more information about the reason for the communication and what IRS expects in response.  There should also be a telephone number in the top right hand corner of the document that employers receive.

On the same web page, you’ll find a link to “Form 2848 Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.”  If you want another person to represent you in connection with the notice or letter, both the taxpayer and the designated representative must complete and sign the Form.  Page 1 of the Instructions for Form 2848 tells you where to mail or fax the Form.

Your designated representative need not be an attorney, if he or she is in another approved category and need not have an IRS CAF number, since a number will be issued upon receipt of the Form.  If the representative already has a nine-digit CAF number, it should be on the Form submitted.

We suspect that the initial letter will be a semi-formal precursor to Notice CP220J, which tells an employer that the IRS has “charged you an employer responsibility payment (ESRP).”   The return address on this Form is “Group 2219, 7300 Turfway Road Suite 410, Florence, KY 41042,” but no contact phone or fax number is listed. The explanatory CP220J web page is bare bones today.  We hope the IRS soon will hang some meat on it.

The Notice image posted under “Publications and Notices” (bottom of this article) is a mess; just count the contradictions.  And, we still don’t have the promised Internal Revenue Bulletin guidance about what, if anything, may precede issuance of Form CP220J.