WASHINGTON -- The tax headaches haven't ended yet for millions of Americans who will get IRS notices in the coming weeks for taxes due or because they made mistakes. Yet an audit says many of these notices are repetitious and many involve $5 or less.
Depending on the circumstances and manpower used, these notices can cost the Internal Revenue Service between 42 cents and $14.32 each to prepare and send, according to the General Accounting Office.
A GAO audit found that about 39 percent of the 14.8 million taxpayers who got IRS collection notices between January and November 1999 received multiple notices for the same tax assessment.
Most of these taxpayers got extra notices because they hadn't paid their taxes, penalties and interest in full on time. But 270,000 received them even after they had paid up, often because the IRS failed to record the payment in time.
Last year, the IRS also sent out 31 million notices telling taxpayers about mistakes in returns, such as math errors, and adjustments made to their accounts. According to a second GAO audit, 1.5 million of those involved net amounts due of less than $5 or refunds of less than $1.
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