Professional Handling of Your Mistakes (or “why I heart the IRS even though they take all my money”)

I’m a dummy.

I got my EIN last July and had to send in a W9 for a new client before I’d committed it to memory, which I discovered yesterday when we realized based on my updated W9 with my new address that I’d transposed two numbers in the original one. As such, the client reported my EIN incorrectly on their 2006 taxes (which they didn’t realize, of course, until now) and were concerned that they’d be fined for the error.

Well, I called the IRS and explained what happened, and they assured me that it was no problem so long as we corrected the error within 30 days of receiving notice from them. Since we’ve already corrected the error, there’s no problem at all. They have a corrected W9 and I just need a corrected 1099, and all is right with the world.

I e-mailed the client with the info (and the agent’s ID number for confirmation if necessary) and received a very grateful response from accounting and a commendation from my contact there thanking me for handling it so professionally.

But my question is this: What other way is there to handle it? I can’t imagine NOT doing the things I did. And if it weren’t for the IRS and their incredibly helpful people, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere with it. How could you not TRY? How could anyone even consider being a jerk about it and not getting it taken care of? That is just beyond me. But the fact that they were so pleased with my response leads me to believe that it was a new thing for them, or at least somewhat unusual.

Have you ever screwed up and had to fix something so a client wouldn’t be penalized? What was the problem, and how did you handle it?

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Contents © Copyright 2007 Kristen King. All rights reserved.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

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