Right before I went on vacation I got this letter, well maybe more like a thick package, from the IRS. The good news I am NOT being audited. The bad news is that the Department of Treasury sent me a notice indicating that what I reported on my 2003 return is different from information they received from others (employers, banks, and other payers). It then went on for 14 pages to show stock sales I had made. At first I thought it had to be a big mistake. All of the sales were listed as Citigroup which through me off a bit because I did sell some Citigroup in the past few years but this was amount for a LOT more than I ever owned of that stock. Taking a closer look, the account number on all of the sales where from an account SBxxxxxxxxx and then I realized that they were all from my SmithBarney account which then I remembered is part of the Citigroup family. The bad news is that after firing up TurboTax, and thank GOD I still had my CD from last year, it turns out that the IRS is correct. I did file an incomplete return. The good news is that after adding in the missing information I actually will be getting more money back! — the commissions are deductible. I cannot believe I messed this up last year. TurboTax is so easy to use but because I misread the instructions for a specific section I totally messed things up. I feel so dumb. I will not make this mistake this year for the 2004 return. I have to go back and look to see if I did my 2002 correctly.
It is always a scary thing to get a notice from the IRS. It is worse when you see the amount and then thing that if you did mess it up that you owe interest on top of the principle — almost worst than a credit card. I am very happy that things are going to turn out OK.