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    Posted August 7, 2008

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Equity Acts to Aid Members as IRS Tax Audits Increase

Unions Request Audits Take Place In Cities Where Members Reside

If you have recently found an IRS Audit Notice in your mailbox, you are among the growing number of Americans who have received such notification. The number of audits has steadily risen since 2005 and last year it reached 1.38 million - the highest since 1998.

In the last two years, there has also been a marked increase in the number of audits of Equity members. To compound the stress of being summoned for an audit, the fact that the IRS has been assigning the audits to IRS offices in cities very distant from where the member lives increases the burden for the member. In addition to forcing the member to copy copious amounts of receipts and diaries, what VITA and other tax preparers have discovered is that these auditors are not conversant with the types of deductions our members are allowed and so they disallow many of those deductions. The member is then forced to request an appeal requiring more time and effort to affect a resolution. Currently Equity is working together with other entertainment unions to request that the IRS perform audits in the cities where the member resides.

Conard Fowkes, head of our VITA office, has written a letter some members have submitted along with their audit materials that has actually made the audit go somewhat smoother. If you receive an audit notification, you may:

Come to the reception desk on the 15th floor at the Equity building, 165 West 46th Street in New York, show your union card (all entertainment unions accepted), and you will be given a copy of that letter to submit with your receipts.

If you are not in the area, call Anne Fortuno at (212) 869-8530 x 409 or email , give your name and mailing address and ask that a copy of the letter to be sent to you.

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