Bookkeeping Responsibilities and the IRS

Bookkeeping Responsibilities and the IRS

Bookkeeping Responsibilities and the IRS

Bookkeeping Responsibilities and the IRS


Since bookkeepers and outsourced bookkeeping services providers are generally the ones responsible

for managing all of a company’s records, they are often placed in the position of having to communicate

with the IRS on behalf of their employer or client. This being the case, it is important that the records

they are responsible for are both current and accurate. In addition, it is imperative that bookkeepers

keep a detailed record of any communication they have with the IRS including descriptions and

transactions dates of all correspondence as well as hard copies of the actual written communication

together with any available receipts or tracking information.

Bookkeepers and bookkeeping services providers are advised to follow these guidelines whenever they

are put in a position of communicating with the IRS on behalf of the business they represent:

 Use Certified Mail

Because the IRS is a huge organization with many branches and thousands of employees, it is

important to ensure that any written communication that is sent to them is delivered into the

right hands. In addition, IRS mailings are often tax filings or responses to official IRS Notices that

must be received by the agency before an official deadline or within strict time constraints.  For

these reasons, written communication with the IRS should always be sent by Certified Mail with

a Return Receipt requested. This receipt will serve as proof that the communication has been

received or that a delivery attempt was made and will also show the signature of the IRS

employee who accepted it.

 Keep a paper trail

If placed in the positon of exchanging information with the IRS on behalf of the business they

represent, the bookkeeper or bookkeeping services providers should maintain a complete paper

trail of any and all communication that takes place. This paper trail should include letters,

receipts, canceled checks and tax returns, among other things.

 Follow up

It is important to follow up any correspondence with the IRS in the case where a response is not

received with a period of six to eight weeks from the time it was sent. In this case, a second copy

of the correspondence should be sent and identified as “Second Response.” If a response is not

received after three attempts, contact should be made with the IRS Tax Payer Advocate’s Office.

 Admit mistakes

In the case where there has been an unintentional error in failing to submit a payment to the

IRS, it is advisable to request a penalty abatement. Such abatements are often granted when it

can be established that the business and its bookkeeping arm were operating in good faith and

the missed payment was an honest mistake.

If your business is seeking an outsourced bookkeeping solution, the experienced professionals at Orange

County Bookkeeping can provide you with the expertise you are looking for. Our licensed accountants

and bookkeepers are equipped to serve Orange County businesses of any size, structure or industry

focus. Visit us today at to learn more about our full range of bookkeeping, tax

and business consulting services. Contact us by phone at (949) 242-9852 at or by email at  to receive a free, no obligation consultation.

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