I'm surprised as anyone to learn that this is an actual thing: Only 24 percent of American consumers are satisfied with the way accounting firms handle their phone calls, according to a new survey. The study of 2,234 people, conducted by audio branding specialist PH Media Group, found standards in the accounting industry fell below […]
Everybody admires a CPA who is willing to stand up to the IRS for a client. To a point.
A New York CPA went past that point, according to the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility. If the testimony of an IRS agent before an administrative law judge is to be believed, the CPA, George Diehl, is at least guilty of a social faux pas in a conversation with IRS Revenue Officer Miamouna Diakite when she refused to put a 45-day hold on collection of a client account.
From the ALJ opinion:
Diakite stated that Diehl refused to enter into an installment agreement. Diakite testified that he became irate and loud, saying that he had obtained holds on accounts routinely, and asked to speak to Diakite’s supervisor. Diakite told him that, pursuant to IRS procedure, her supervisor would call him within 24 hours. He insisted on talking to her supervisor immediately. Diakite then, also pursuant to protocol, told him that the account was then in “collection status” whereby the IRS “will” levy against Taxpayer 1’s bank account, garnish her salary and obtain liens on her real and personal property.
Diakite testified that Diehl became very upset and said “do you know what I do to people like you. I kill them.” Diakite replied “you don’t mean that, sir” and Diehl replied “I do. I do. I’ll kill you.” Diakite then sat at her desk repeating to herself aloud that Diehl said that he would kill her and he is in New York. She became frightened and then heard a male voice, not Diehl’s, saying “what are you doing?” and the phone was then disconnected.
The opinion never does say who the “male voice” belongs to. Somebody with better manners, perhaps.
The ALJ did believe the agent:
I find that Diehl threatened Diakite. His credibility was shaken by first stating that his words to her was that you are “killing me with your stupidity and then changing that testimony to state that you are “killing me with your bullshit.”
So for all of you aspiring CPAs out there, some lessons:
• Try not to let client tax matters get to a point where you have to argue on a hold for collection.
• Don’t threaten to kill the agents. They don’t like that, and it tends to make it more difficult to get them to help your client.
•Don’t be a pottymouth. That bad language completely blew it with that nice administrative law judge.