Responding to IRS Notice 972CG

Responding to IRS Notice 972CG

It is that time of year. IRS Notices 972CG, proposed penalty notices, are out.

The IRS typically starts mailing the notices in late July. The process continues through August.

How do you “qualify” for a 972CG? Try filing 1099s late. Or fail to file at all! Penalties are also assessed for filing 1099s in the wrong format. Do you have more than 250 1099s to file? Then you must file electronically, not on paper.

The other big way to get a penalty assessment is to file 1099s with incorrect or missing taxpayer ID numbers. (We told you to get and check those W-9s!) And you’ll get zinged for “any combination” of the above. See the penalty rates here.

But—good news—you might not have to pay the full amount shown on the 972CG. The form is a proposed penalty, not a final assessment. It is possible to reduce the amount or persuade the IRS to waive the proposed penalty altogether. To avoid part or all of the penalty, though, you must act promptly. You have 45 days to respond to the Notice.

If you look at the list of offenses and see that they’ve got you dead to rights, just return the acknowledgment, payment slip and your payment. For example, if you did file 3,231 Form 1099s on paper instead of electronically, they got you!

But if you disagree with some or all of the proposed penalties and can show reasonable cause rather than willful neglect, you may dispute the proposed penalty. If the IRS accepts your explanation, it might reduce the penalty or waive it altogether.

Return the response page included in the 972-CG notice. Note your disagreement and include a detailed letter of explanation. You must show why you believe the penalty should not be assessed and how you acted responsibly. Keep it courteous and professional.

Mitigating factors may include this being the first time you’ve had to file a particular type of return. On the other hand, if you have filed many times before, show an established history of your compliance without penalty. Then explain what happened this time.

You can get relief if you can show the error was due to events beyond your control. For example, perhaps a computer crash damaged your records, or the person with sole responsibility for filing had an unavoidable absence. Maybe the payee person responsible for providing you with the correct tax ID had an unavoidable absence that prevented you from getting a TIN.

“Undue economic hardship” related to filing in electronic format can be reasonable cause. Or perhaps you used a third-party agent to do your filing and something interfered with them doing it right or on time. Perhaps you acquired another company and did not realize until too late that their files were a mess and they had failed to file 1099s.

Describe your compliance process. If penalties are for missing taxpayer IDs, show the steps you took to obtain the TINs. If the TIN is incorrect, provide evidence that you received it from the payee and supplied it to the IRS in good faith. (Of course, you’ll also get a CP-2100 “B-Notice” on this and have to take actions there to obtain the correct TIN—we’ll cover than another time!)

In the same letter, you also can request a 60-day extension to get into compliance.

Having made your case, you have to include an acknowledgment that the declaration is made under penalties of perjury. Then sign and submit the document. You do not have to include copies of evidence, for example, your TIN solicitation letters or phone log copies.

The IRS, while tenacious about any taxes owed the government, is surprisingly willing to adjust penalties under the right circumstances. It is worth looking at and writing a letter!

The IRS will send either a 1948C letter or a CP15/215. The 1948C letter could request additional information or it will notify you that it has waived the penalty. A CP15/215, on the other hand, will confirm the penalty assessment and demand payment.

IRS compliance begins at vendor onboarding. VendorInfo is here to help, from W-9 and W-8 solicitation and collection (including guidance for vendors to complete the correct form the right way) to TIN matching and much more. Contact us.

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Stop Calls and Emails, Enhance
Service and Increase Profit!

InvoiceInfo saves labor hours and cost by helping suppliers and internal staff easily and instantly get answers online to their invoice-payment questions.

If you are like many finance leaders today, you are being challenged to reduce costs more quickly. InvoiceInfo delivers real bottom-line results almost immediately, allowing you to deploy your customer service staff to focus on more productive, bottom-line oriented tasks.

Let us show you how InvoiceInfo's vendor self-service portal can help your organization eliminate invoice inquiry emails and calls while enhancing service to your accounts payable customers.


Get Up and Running Quickly and Seamlessly

InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are standalone applications that can be up and running in as little as two weeks, with little or no IT resources required.

The faster your online portal is up and running, the sooner you will start reaping the benefits. InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are dedicated solely to helping AP and procurement departments slash the time and expense of servicing vendors, while improving customer service for their suppliers.

InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are simple solutions with big results. They are easy to implement and easy to use. Here’s how one customer described the process: “You give vendors a URL, provide instructions about what they need to know and tell them to go use it.” It really is that easy.


Improve Productivity with a Self-Service Solution

For most organizations, deploying a technology solution is a significant investment, and like most investments, the decision point ultimately comes down to the expected return on that investment.

According to a recent benchmark study by The Accounts Payable Network, 60% of AP customer service calls are from vendors while 40% are from internal customers. Vendor issues actually make up even more of the AP call volume than the 60% identified. Many times when a vendor has an issue, the vendor contacts their buyer or purchasing representative, who in turn contacts AP. Even though the call comes from an internal customer, the question originated with the vendor.

Vendor calls affect productivity in your organization exponentially. When vendors call the requisitioner, they are affecting that person’s productivity. Your internal customer’s productivity shrinks when fielding the vendor’s call and again when making the follow up call to AP and getting back to the vendor. Finally, AP’s productivity suffers as a result of the internal customer’s call, the payment status research and the follow-up communication.

With a minimal investment of IT time and talent, you can start reducing customer service calls and expense in a matter of weeks. In addition, you improve vendor relations since you are giving your vendors what they want — answers to their questions immediately — a win-win for everyone involved!


Easy and Economical Solution to Serve Vendors Around the World

InvoiceInfo can help you provide best-in-class customer service to your vendors around the world at a fraction of the cost.

Many organizations today have offices and operations throughout the world and are dealing with many time zones, different languages, and in some cases multiple ERP systems. InvoiceInfo currently supports different languages and can easily work with multiple ERP systems in different locations.

The key to good customer service is to provide the information that the customer wants when they want it. Whether your customer is a vendor waiting for a payment or a colleague that needs information on payment status, they want their information right away. If your organization has vendors and offices in other countries, they can be challenging and expensive to serve. But, with InvoiceInfo, your international vendors and internal customers can access the information they need when they need it.

With InvoiceInfo, you won’t have to staff your customer service team with 24-hour coverage in multiple languages to provide high-quality customer service around the world.


Enhance AP’s Role As a Strategic Partner

Learn how InvoiceInfo can help AP do more with less while continuously improving productivity and bottom-line results.

Many automation technologies such as scanning, workflow, e-invoicing, ACH, and electronic invoicing require significant investments of money, time and talent, making it difficult to get buy-in from upper management. Not InvoiceInfo!

If your goal for your AP department is to reduce costs quickly, call or email us today to learn more about how InvoiceInfo can help you achieve this goal through a quick, inexpensive and easy implementation of a vendor self-service portal.


Enhance Vendor Relationships

InvoiceInfo helps suppliers’ AR departments with simple and convenient access to invoice payment status online at a cost savings for all involved.

It may seem that the organization paying the vendor should hold all the cards in the relationship. But sometimes the opposite is true. Past-due payments and customer service perceptions can harm supplier relationships and disrupt the supply chain.

Your vendors and vendor relationship managers are living in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, so when invoice information is required, it is needed quickly and expected to be of high quality. With InvoiceInfo, your suppliers get answers to invoice inquiries real time, 24/7 with no need to leave messages and wait for responses. Studies show that confidence in data increases when suppliers access invoice and payment information themselves.


Give Procurement and Buyers the Tool They
Need to Respond to Vendors Quickly

Not only can InvoiceInfo be used by suppliers to learn the status of invoice payments, it can also be used internally within your organization.

In addition to reducing calls from vendors regarding invoice status, you can also reduce internal emails and calls from co-workers wanting to learn the status of invoice payment, and save time and effort and boost efficiency and productivity across the organization. Studies show that 40% of AP customer service calls are from internal customers. Many of these are from requisitioners who have received calls or emails from the supplier checking on payment status. These calls are often more expensive for the company because the internal staff member has taken the call or received an email from the supplier, contacted AP for the payment status and had to return the call or email the supplier.

By providing the vendor with a convenient and credible online option to get the answers it needs regarding payment status, you can eliminate multiple calls/emails between the vendor and the requisitioner saving time and money.


Eliminate Difficult Vendor Calls and See
Productivity and Staff Morale Soar

Reduce invoice payment inquiries and “promote” your vendor service team to more satisfying and profit-producing tasks.

By sharply reducing inbound calls and emails regarding receipt and payment status that your AP staff must handle individually, your staff can focus their efforts on more productive, cost-saving activities, learn new tasks, feel more confident and boost their careers.

According to a recent American Express survey on customer service, more than one-third of consumers have lost their temper with a customer service professional in the past year. Of those who lost their temper, three in ten “hung up the phone.” Your staff will no longer have to deal with difficult collectors who can be upsetting and disruptive. Your staff will feel that their time and talents are being put to better use and will feel better about themselves, their jobs and their organization. Reducing these calls can be a real productivity and morale booster for your AP department!


Simplify and Streamline Vendor Onboarding

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, the average organization spends about $20 in labor to file each paper document, approximately $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document and $220 in re-creation of a document.

Wouldn’t it be great to have all your W-9’s, W-8’s and other registration documents completed online and instantly filed online for easy access when needed? With Vendor Self-Service Onboarding Module, VendorInfo, you can onboard your new vendors in one convenient location and eliminate paperwork and hassles.


Verify the Accuracy of Vendor Information and Stay in Compliance with IRS and Treasury Department Regulations

Government regulators are increasing the complexity of regulations and penalties associated with vendor-related non-compliance.

Penalties for incorrect 1099’s have more than doubled in recent years. Over the last several years, OFAC has levied more than $1 billion in fines against American companies or subsidiaries that did business with restricted businesses, organizations and individuals on its SDN list. In addition to fining these companies, the Treasury Department posts the names of infringing organizations along with fines paid.

VendorInfo Onboarding Module verifies the accuracy of vendor information and helps protect your organization by avoiding embarrassing penalties and fines.

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