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Internal Revenue Service

As a bureau of the Department of the Treasury and as one of the world's most efficient tax administrators, the IRS role is to help the large majority of compliant taxpayers with the tax law, while ensuring that the minority who are unwilling to comply pay their fair share. (Source: www.irs.gov)

This forum will allow you to share and ask job-related questions about this bureau. This is NOT the place to ask tax questions.

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scottyd27  
#201 Posted : Saturday, December 15, 2018 6:43:04 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Krystal458 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: scottyd27 Go to Quoted Post
I wihdrew from consideration.


Why? Did something happen?


No, I just like being a Revenue Officer.

I don’t really want to give up telework for at least a year and I’ll be a12 two years anyway.

Edited by user Saturday, December 15, 2018 6:45:36 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Krystal458 on 12/16/2018(UTC)
jaylakent  
#202 Posted : Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:34:34 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DRam2500 Go to Quoted Post


Are there any other training options for people with children who may not be able to be out of state for 4-8 weeks at a time?



I'm not sure - it is something you should ask during your hiring panel. The training might be in your hometown. They try to have it in a central location for areas. For example: Atlanta or New Orleans for South Eastern States, Las Vegas/Ogden for Western States, etc. But if you are in the area where the local training is then you don't have to stay overnight on-site. Then again this was how the service did it 10+ years ago, maybe they don't do it this way anymore. It could be totally different training now. Maybe another tenured RA is lurking can respond regarding training.
But like I said - ask during your interview. Never hurts to ask!!
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N.E.R.D. on 12/16/2018(UTC), kippz on 12/17/2018(UTC), DRam2500 on 12/17/2018(UTC)
Rev Agent  
#203 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 11:09:44 AM(UTC)

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"Are there any other training options for people with children who may not be able to be out of state for 4-8 weeks at a time?"

I'm pretty certain that you have to attend one of the training classes in person. There will likely be two or three training locations across the country.

I would wait and see if you get an offer and see where the training will be held. It might be near your home. If so, you don't have to stay overnight.
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DRam2500 on 12/17/2018(UTC), jaylakent on 12/17/2018(UTC)
N.E.R.D.  
#204 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 11:14:45 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Rev Agent Go to Quoted Post

"Are there any other training options for people with children who may not be able to be out of state for 4-8 weeks at a time?"

I'm pretty certain that you have to attend one of the training classes in person. There will likely be two or three training locations across the country.

I would wait and see if you get an offer and see where the training will be held. It might be near your home. If so, you don't have to stay overnight.


Are you a Revenue Agent? If so, what is a typical day for you? Do you enjoy it?
YoungGunner  
#205 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 11:22:47 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DRam2500 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: jaylakent Go to Quoted Post
I don't know about a "limit"on the number of 13's. I know they try to keep a certain number of 13's in each group, but I don't really worry about those things.

Regarding working at home. The rule is you must be either in the office (or field) 2 days per pay period. A pay period is two weeks. The rest of the time you can work from home. If I'm not in the field I work 4 days home and 1 day office per week. Sometimes I come in more if I have a lot of printing or need to drop something off. During training period, you can not work at home. I don't think it has to do with your grade,working at home is not based off of grade. You have to be fully trained. You manager will let you know when you are ready to telework - I think after our first year we were allowed in my office. I can't remember *LOL* But I do know it wasn't allowed until after we completed our initial year. There are three phases, 1040, corporate, and flow-thru. The 1040 was hard, I had to go out of state for 6 weeks, then back to POD for training; then back to out of state again for 8 weeks. Six months later back to corporate training for four weeks, then six months later flow-thru training for four weeks. So the training takes about 18-24 months depending on schedule and budget. We had a furlough during my first two years, so my flow-thru training was delayed 6 months.

So say someone is hired as an RA GS 5, completes their 18 months of training and is at a GS 7 (6 months away from their GS9) - they would be able to work flexiplace because they are complete with training.


Are there any other training options for people with children who may not be able to be out of state for 4-8 weeks at a time?



I've read some of the OJI materials for the incoming new hires and it said that training must be attended in person unless there is some significant reason the employee can't make the training. It stated there were additional ways to get training at home, but that this was to be an exception for extraordinary circumstances.

Honestly, you will want and need to be at the in-person training. The training covers the tax information that you will need for work but it covers a lot of the functional requirements for doing your actual job. That is not something that's practical to learn on your own. It involves getting access to and using over a dozen different propriety pieces of software.

The training requirements are strenuous up front, especially if you have kids at home. However, people made it work when I went through. You can leave on the weekends and family can stay with you if you want. The training isn't difficult, but you do need to be there. There isn't really homework or studying needed outside of the classroom.
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DRam2500 on 12/17/2018(UTC), jaylakent on 12/17/2018(UTC)
Rev Agent  
#206 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 11:46:06 AM(UTC)

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The Revenue Agent job has been the favorite professional job that I have worked. It can be very challenging - especially in the beginning when there is so much to learn- but I found that the training was very good.

One thing I enjoy about the job is that the work is varied as every return has different issues. One day you will audit a florist and the next a gas station.

In a typical day I might be out at a taxpayer's or at their accountants doing field work, I might be working at home getting caught up on paperwork or I might be in the office.

One of the best parts of the job is that there actually is some work-life balance. It's a 40 hour week and you get a lot of paid time off. You get credit hours or comp time for every hour over 40 that you work.
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N.E.R.D. on 12/17/2018(UTC), slowpoke on 12/17/2018(UTC), DRam2500 on 12/17/2018(UTC), cooljul on 12/17/2018(UTC)
N.E.R.D.  
#207 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 11:50:34 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Rev Agent Go to Quoted Post
The Revenue Agent job has been the favorite professional job that I have worked. It can be very challenging - especially in the beginning when there is so much to learn- but I found that the training was very good.

One thing I enjoy about the job is that the work is varied as every return has different issues. One day you will audit a florist and the next a gas station.

In a typical day I might be out at a taxpayer's or at their accountants doing field work, I might be working at home getting caught up on paperwork or I might be in the office.

One of the best parts of the job is that there actually is some work-life balance. It's a 40 hour week and you get a lot of paid time off. You get credit hours or comp time for every hour over 40 that you work.


Sounds far more interesting than my current job lol. This is my main reason for applying. I am tired of sitting in the office day after day and the work is not challenging at all. It seems that this position would provide me the variety and out of office time that I desire. After looking at reviews, it seems that the ratings depend on the location. I am interested in the Atlanta location, and I'm glad to know that there is a training center here.

The work-life balance at my job is great. We only work 36 hours a week but the pay is good. We also get to leave early the day before holidays and we have many luncheons and meetings. This is where my dilemma will be. I love the family feel of my job but I desire to get out of the office. If I'm chosen for an interview, I will definitely ask questions.

Edited by user Monday, December 17, 2018 11:56:27 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Additional comments

DRam2500  
#208 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 11:58:23 AM(UTC)
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Thanks so much for all the replies regarding training! It really helps to hear insight from current RAs.
Krystal458  
#209 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 2:10:46 PM(UTC)
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Anyone have any idea of the timeline now? Have they started reacting out to the internal employees for an interview yet?
Cpajay1221  
#210 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 3:56:04 PM(UTC)

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Does anyone know how long RA security clearances are good for? Wondering if I was cleared 8 years ago, if I would have to go through the whole process again.
jaylakent  
#211 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 5:45:16 PM(UTC)
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I don't know about all areas, but my area has been doing internal interviews the past few days (so I was told). I heard a rumor of a tentative start date in April, then another wave in June.

Background checks: You will probably will have to do a new one. A lot of us are undergoing re-investigation. There will be mandatory periodic re-investigations.
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Krystal458 on 12/17/2018(UTC)
ironman0786  
#212 Posted : Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:42:18 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: jaylakent Go to Quoted Post
You will get promoted to GS 12 (max journey level) fairly quickly. One grade per year until you hit max 12, as long as you are succeeds (which means average). Don't look at that "short-term" - Look at the long term goals. If you want to just make lots of money, then a government job may not be for you. Even our max executives don't make more than $175K-$200K. For me I could work a public sector job locally, maybe make $20-40K more per year, but I have a pension, matching 401K (TSP), awesome work schedule, work from home, public student loan forgiveness (PSLF), I can keep going with the perks.
I was in private practice for a few years out of college/grad school (I have a masters) then got hired with IRS in 2009. I worked the mandatory 6-days a week during tax season, little vacation, no pension, etc. A lot of other people in private I talked to who were CPA’s were working to death and trying to make partner, fighting over clients – I figured out that the rat race was not for me. I'm much happier with the service.

Grade/steps are automatic each year unless you don't meet "average" performance. If you come in as a 5/7/9/11 – then you should go to the next grade automatically each year until you max at 12. The first 4 steps are each year, then step 5, 6 and 7 every two years, 8,9,10 are every 3 years. We used to have to compete for 12’s, but now it’s automatic. After 5-10 years, depending on the POD you are in, you can compete for a GS 13. You can go into management, you can become a subject matter expert, compete for GS 14, go into tech services, appeals, or switch jobs into collections or taxpayer advocate. The sky is the limit depending on your lifestyle, goals, and motivation.

Being an RA is a very independent job. You have your case load, have to manage your inventory, and know how to work with people. You will have situations where people are not cooperative, angry about having audit/adjustments, etc, etc. It's has its issues, but so does any job. I had clients in private practice never happy, but as an RA I do have control over the exam and make my own decisions. The administrative procedures will get overwhelming sometimes, and lots of pressure to maintain security, bureaucracy - but its government. I go into the field maybe 2-3 times per month for interview/tour of business, then rest of time I’m at home or once a week in office writing/closing cases.
Best of luck to all who get offers. Be aware the first few years are difficult – especially if you come in from the outside. Mainly learning the administrative stuff, getting all your access, passwords, and clearances. The training is away from home a lot, but once you are finished with your training – in my opinion –it’s an awesome job.



Typically how far are you taxpayer's business, or accountants office that you must visit? And how many times a month to you end up with a taxpayer that is very far and you must stay overnight in order to make the field visit?

Anyone RAs in the New York tri-state area that can also give feedback on this question.

And as far as training if anyone knows historically where has training been help for New York hires, or North East hires. I know there is a service center in new york. Is there a chance to have training in that service center, or maybe in the Pennsylvania service center?

How formal is the attire for RAS out in the field and in field offices when in office?

Edited by user Tuesday, December 18, 2018 3:18:03 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

YoungGunner  
#213 Posted : Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:09:38 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: ironman0786 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: jaylakent Go to Quoted Post
You will get promoted to GS 12 (max journey level) fairly quickly. One grade per year until you hit max 12, as long as you are succeeds (which means average). Don't look at that "short-term" - Look at the long term goals. If you want to just make lots of money, then a government job may not be for you. Even our max executives don't make more than $175K-$200K. For me I could work a public sector job locally, maybe make $20-40K more per year, but I have a pension, matching 401K (TSP), awesome work schedule, work from home, public student loan forgiveness (PSLF), I can keep going with the perks.
I was in private practice for a few years out of college/grad school (I have a masters) then got hired with IRS in 2009. I worked the mandatory 6-days a week during tax season, little vacation, no pension, etc. A lot of other people in private I talked to who were CPA’s were working to death and trying to make partner, fighting over clients – I figured out that the rat race was not for me. I'm much happier with the service.

Grade/steps are automatic each year unless you don't meet "average" performance. If you come in as a 5/7/9/11 – then you should go to the next grade automatically each year until you max at 12. The first 4 steps are each year, then step 5, 6 and 7 every two years, 8,9,10 are every 3 years. We used to have to compete for 12’s, but now it’s automatic. After 5-10 years, depending on the POD you are in, you can compete for a GS 13. You can go into management, you can become a subject matter expert, compete for GS 14, go into tech services, appeals, or switch jobs into collections or taxpayer advocate. The sky is the limit depending on your lifestyle, goals, and motivation.

Being an RA is a very independent job. You have your case load, have to manage your inventory, and know how to work with people. You will have situations where people are not cooperative, angry about having audit/adjustments, etc, etc. It's has its issues, but so does any job. I had clients in private practice never happy, but as an RA I do have control over the exam and make my own decisions. The administrative procedures will get overwhelming sometimes, and lots of pressure to maintain security, bureaucracy - but its government. I go into the field maybe 2-3 times per month for interview/tour of business, then rest of time I’m at home or once a week in office writing/closing cases.
Best of luck to all who get offers. Be aware the first few years are difficult – especially if you come in from the outside. Mainly learning the administrative stuff, getting all your access, passwords, and clearances. The training is away from home a lot, but once you are finished with your training – in my opinion –it’s an awesome job.



Typically how far are you taxpayer's business, or accountants office that you must visit? And how many times a month to you end up with a taxpayer that is very far and you must stay overnight in order to make the field visit?

Anyone RAs in the New York tri-state area that can also give feedback on this question.

And as far as training if anyone knows historically where has training been help for New York hires, or North East hires. I know there is a service center in new york. Is there a chance to have training in that service center, or maybe in the Pennsylvania service center?

How formal is the attire for RAS out in the field and in field offices when in office?


Appointments with taxpayers and representatives will usually be within 30-60 minutes by car. You may have a rare case that the rep is further than that, but unless you live in a very rural area, none of your cases will be overnight. I've only ever heard of overnight travel for normal case work out in the big Midwest states. In the NY area, you will not be traveling overnight for case related travel. Cases are sent to the PODs based on zip code, so all your cases will be within a certain area around the POD.

I have not heard of formal training being near the northeast in a long time. The closest training locations for formal RA training I've seen to the northeast was Cincinnati/Covington. The other locations that I have personally seen are Ogden, Anaheim, Jacksonville, Detroit, Memphis. I believe I have heard of Philly, but I'm not positive on that. It never seemed to me that the location you were sent to was related to the location of your office. I'm not sure how they figure that out. In 2009, Northeast was sent to Cincinnati, Covington, and Memphis.

Business casual is usually what is worn in the field. It will depend on who you are interviewing and where, but most times just khakis and polo or normal button down for men. Whatever women wear that is similar. I've never worn a suit, but I have worn a tie if I was going to big law office or a Big4 accounting firm.
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N.E.R.D. on 12/18/2018(UTC)
Nathan Drake  
#214 Posted : Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:53:56 AM(UTC)
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When I was a RA from 2001-2005, we had training sessions that lasted from 2-4 weeks and then you return to your office for OJT (On the job training). The training sites i went to included Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Dallas. I worked in the Plantation, FL office (that's near Ft. Lauderdale). Training would take place at your hotel in conference rooms separated into small classrooms. Usually, your classmates consisted of other RA's located from offices in your state or region. I think that everyone that I was in training with was from a FL office.

You were able to travel home on weekends if you wanted. People would fly home on Friday night and return on Sunday night. You need to do a cost comparison every time you want to go home comparing the cost of the hotel and per diem for the weekend vs your plane ticket, taxis, or other travel expense. You only get reimbursed for the lower cost option.

When I was working, I would always go to the taxpayer's business for a walkthru and interview and then complete the audit at the taxpayer's accountant/CPA's office. You get reimbursed for mileage driven to these sites. My office made us a wear slacks, a button down shirt, and tie (no jacket or suit) for the interview. If the audit needed a follow up appointment or meeting, I would usually lose the tie. When i worked in the office, khaki's and polo was the attire.
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N.E.R.D. on 12/18/2018(UTC)
jaylakent  
#215 Posted : Tuesday, December 18, 2018 4:45:30 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Nathan Drake Go to Quoted Post
When I was a RA from 2001-2005, we had training sessions that lasted from 2-4 weeks and then you return to your office for OJT (On the job training). The training sites i went to included Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Dallas. I worked in the Plantation, FL office (that's near Ft. Lauderdale). Training would take place at your hotel in conference rooms separated into small classrooms. Usually, your classmates consisted of other RA's located from offices in your state or region. I think that everyone that I was in training with was from a FL office.

You were able to travel home on weekends if you wanted. People would fly home on Friday night and return on Sunday night. You need to do a cost comparison every time you want to go home comparing the cost of the hotel and per diem for the weekend vs your plane ticket, taxis, or other travel expense. You only get reimbursed for the lower cost option.

When I was working, I would always go to the taxpayer's business for a walkthru and interview and then complete the audit at the taxpayer's accountant/CPA's office. You get reimbursed for mileage driven to these sites. My office made us a wear slacks, a button down shirt, and tie (no jacket or suit) for the interview. If the audit needed a follow up appointment or meeting, I would usually lose the tie. When i worked in the office, khaki's and polo was the attire.


This is an excellent synopsis/example. I ditto the above.
Why did you leave RA NathanDrake?? Are you still in service or just switch jobs internally?
Nathan Drake  
#216 Posted : Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:54:14 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: jaylakent Go to Quoted Post


This is an excellent synopsis/example. I ditto the above.
Why did you leave RA NathanDrake?? Are you still in service or just switch jobs internally?


I left the IRS and became a Special Agent with another Federal agency (that just happens to have Service in its name). I always wanted a career in law enforcement but with my crazy schedule now plus working too many weekends, holidays, and midnight shifts, I just want to get back to a normal schedule of Monday thru Friday so that's why i applied to the IRS. Also, I will do anything to get back to FL and away from the the Northeast winters.

I am happy that the RA position journeymans at grade 12 since I will be taking a pay-cut since I am currently a 13 step 7.

Edited by user Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:57:25 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

CapeCPA  
#217 Posted : Tuesday, December 18, 2018 7:42:56 PM(UTC)
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Hi, new to the forum so I thank you all in advance for all of the valuable information provided here. It’s priceless for all of us in the private sector who’s never worked for the federal government before and don’t know what to expect. I have applied numerous times in the past and the farthest I have gotten is taken the test and getting a rating of B. This time I got a category rating A and there are 4 openings in my area which is a small area so I am hoping for a better result this time. I am a Florida CPA and I have a masters in Tax as well as I have practice in public accounting for over 15 years. I hope that counts for something. One thing I read in another thread is that IRS doesn’t conduct in person interviews anymore. Is that true? If not, how is the interview like? Also, after category rating what’s the next step. My USA jobs account just shows received. In regards to the background check I am confident I should have no problem but I was wondering how do they audit my prior two year returns, is it a regular audit like the ones I would handle for clients? I have very simple returns so no issues, just wondering what they do. Just praying I get an interview or a call or something. Start date is anticipated for April 14, 2019 which will be perfect so I can finish up tax season with my current CPA firm.
Krystal458  
#218 Posted : Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:32:44 PM(UTC)
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what if they audit your taxes and you made a mistake on something? can you file an amended return and fix it, are you automatically disqualified?
ironman0786  
#219 Posted : Wednesday, December 19, 2018 12:54:54 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: Krystal458 Go to Quoted Post
what if they audit your taxes and you made a mistake on something? can you file an amended return and fix it, are you automatically disqualified?


Originally Posted by: CapeCPA Go to Quoted Post
Hi, new to the forum so I thank you all in advance for all of the valuable information provided here. It’s priceless for all of us in the private sector who’s never worked for the federal government before and don’t know what to expect. I have applied numerous times in the past and the farthest I have gotten is taken the test and getting a rating of B. This time I got a category rating A and there are 4 openings in my area which is a small area so I am hoping for a better result this time. I am a Florida CPA and I have a masters in Tax as well as I have practice in public accounting for over 15 years. I hope that counts for something. One thing I read in another thread is that IRS doesn’t conduct in person interviews anymore. Is that true? If not, how is the interview like? Also, after category rating what’s the next step. My USA jobs account just shows received. In regards to the background check I am confident I should have no problem but I was wondering how do they audit my prior two year returns, is it a regular audit like the ones I would handle for clients? I have very simple returns so no issues, just wondering what they do. Just praying I get an interview or a call or something. Start date is anticipated for April 14, 2019 which will be perfect so I can finish up tax season with my current CPA firm.


The last decent size hiring was in 2016, at least in New York they said only in-person interviews and they were open on one of the Saturdays to accommodate people or to be able to get all the interviews done on time.

The next step is a phone call to set up an interview date. I believe the earliest as an external application would be mid-Jan to sometime in February. They would have just started or will soon be starting internal interviews and they run for about a month.

As far as audits of new hires. I believe its all done in the background. A department looks at it or the IRS systems grades the return to see how likely of a risk is the return to be wrong or lying as far as deductions being claimed and how out of the ordinary it is like any other audit that is selected (classification). If its a high risk then you will be audited meaning provide proof of your deductions. The only straightforward red flag would be you have unreported income. When I was hired with the IRS, I never received a letter or anything. I was straight out of college. I think one of the years I had not worked and HR questioned why no return, and I just emailed back saying I was not required to file a return and they were like that's all we needed to hear.
slowpoke  
#220 Posted : Wednesday, December 19, 2018 12:59:06 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Krystal458 Go to Quoted Post
what if they audit your taxes and you made a mistake on something? can you file an amended return and fix it, are you automatically disqualified?


They don't audit your tax returns they make sure you paid on time no extensions.
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