Beyond415 Automates Post-Filing Tax Notices | AccountingWEB

Beyond415 Automates Post-Filing Tax Notices

By Christina Camara

Tax practitioners in the Sage Accountants Network have a new tool to help ease the burden of managing post-filing tax notices and correspondence with the IRS.
Beyond415, the flagship product of New River Innovation, is being received with open arms by Sage Accountants Network members since the volume of post-filing notices is increasing.
Jennifer Warawa, vice president of partner programs and channel sales at Sage North America, said Sage continually surveys its members, and results show that the top concerns of tax professionals are keeping up with technology and ever-changing regulations. Sage didn't have a specialized tool for accountants to manage IRS notices, so partnering with Beyond415 made sense.
"They're very like-minded," Warawa said. "That makes for a very good partnership because everyone's looking out for the customer."

Practice Tips

Notices are inevitable in any tax practice. Best-in-practice firms employ simple methods to serve their clients in this area:

  • Be proactive. Use Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, to be copied on your client's notices, rather than relying on the tax return designation or waiting for your client to give you the notice. 
  • Check the notice for accuracy. Verify the notice against your client's records, the filed return, and IRS records. You may need to match your client's payments to his or her IRS transcript. 
  • Respond quickly and well before the due date. Don't let deadlines slip. Missing a deadline can be detrimental to you and your client. 
  • If you have to respond in writing, use the IRS' accepted format. Writing and communicating with the IRS has always been a challenge, but simple techniques go a long way.
- Jim Buttonow, CPA, CITP, New River Innovation Cofounder
The IRS sends most notices to taxpayers within eighteen months after they file. Notices can include letters about math errors, a balance due, late-filing penalties, missing returns, and many other issues.
Beyond415's Reed Humphrey said the system automates post-filing practice and procedure, allowing accountants to save time, stay current with regulations, and provide more responsive customer service.
Beyond415 is like a mini-CRM system for post-filing work, which has increased sevenfold in the last ten years. He said the IRS sent out thirty million post-filing notices in 2001, and this year, they'll send out 200 million. "That's more notices by 30 percent that there are taxpayers in the country," Humphrey said. 
With the IRS sending out 1,000 different types of notices, "there's no way that tax practitioners can keep up with all of this," Humphrey said. With some individuals and businesses receiving multiple notices, accountants are getting a significant number of calls for help. Humphrey said the goal is to move post-filing work from a nuisance to a task that takes half the time.
Warawa often hears from accountants that they'd like to spend less time on tax matters and more time helping their clients succeed year-round. "This frees them up to be the consultants they'd like to be." 
Beyond415 can handle simple administrative tasks, such as authorizations, to complex client issues, such as audits. Sage Accountants Network members can use the web-based system at a 15-percent discount, plus have access to educational webcasts on a variety of IRS- and post-filing-related topics, that qualify for CPE credit.
John P. Cataldo, a Pennsylvania CPA, noted in a statement that computer-generated tax notices from the federal, state, and local authorities are increasing. "Due to the current economic climate, all levels of government are looking for revenue, and the ability to deal with these notices in a cost-effective manner will be a great benefit to small business."
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