I must tell the same advice to other business owners twice a week. I know rotary dies inside and out. But when it comes to contracts, estates, accounting and taxes – leave that stuff to those who do this every day. Also, if you do have a problem with someone like the IRS, the auditors are a lot more agreeable when dealing with tax professionals then they are with you-know-who.
Specifically, when the auditors come sniffing around and try to intimidate you, the almost universal response it to get mad at them and shoot your mouth off about government interference, meddling in my business, you worthless government hacks, etc. NOT GOOD! Your accountant, lawyer, business adviser can take these problems head-on without the emotional attachment that we have.
Everyone who owns a business thinks the government is out to get them. And the government employees all think we’re trying to hide something when we go ballistic. But when a professional handles the inquiry, especially when that professional is the one who did the preparation, the government agency usually is much more gracious in their dealings, especially since many times the inquiry is just routine since a computer program kicked out the report based on general statistical analysis. So it’s not personal.
Yeah, I had a problem once with the IRS claiming that we were not paying our employee withholding. The problem was on their end as they had us incorrectly listed in the computer. After 6 months of back and forth, our accountant went down to the IRS office and in 5 minutes and one computer keystroke, the problem was solved. Me, I’d have blown a fuse. The accountant said, “It happens all the time. You just need to know who to talk to so you can calmly explain the problem. Then they usually apologize; fix the problem and everyone goes on with their day.”
Much better than getting into a yelling match with the government employee who immediately tunes you out and refers your case to enforcement. Then it’s no longer his problem and your problem has just gotten much worse (not to mention expensive).
Richard B. Seeley
An ISO 9001:2000 Certified Company