Sophie Kosofsky

Revenge of the Comma

Kosofsky was a case about a $70,000 tax bill that resulted from a punctuation mistake.  It was memorable for this reason, and because it was the first case in which I dealt with the state of New York.  (I was still in Louisiana, but Sophie had previously lived and worked in NYC)

Ms. Kosofsky worked in the film industry building movie sets, and she received a 1099 for $750.  However, the director, an Italian, wrote this amount as $750,00. (in Italy, commas are used to separate numerals and decimals instead of periods)  The IRS recorded this as seventy five thousand in income and proceeded to make an assessment and a wage levy.  (which due to address changes, Ms. Kosofsky didn't learn about until it happened)

I was able to fix the matter internally with the IRS and the state agencies by persuading the Collections Unit to grant us a collection hold while an amendment could be processed.  Ultimately, the wrongly garnished funds were returned.

One of the unfortunate realities of the world is that many people make frivolous arguments against the taxes they owe; the IRS is constantly inundated with these "tax protesters."  This can sometimes create a bias and make it difficult for actual errors to be correct; often I'll have to rely on things like my credentials and professional licensure as a tax attorney just to be listened to.

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Nate Strand, Tax Attorney

18 West 18th St   New York NY 10011   

(646) 737-4639   nate.strand@icloud.com