The First, And Maybe Only, Feel-Good Holiday Story Tax Story You Will Ever Read

A Pasadena accountant becomes a holiday hero

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 | 8:03 pm

In the spirit of holiday gifting, I suppose, Michael Zeineddine passed along to us the most heart-warming little story about a tax levy.

(Michael is a local tax accountant and is more of the let’s-make-lemonade-out-of-this-lemon genre than the sour suits I know, so I was certain his tale would have a lift at the end.)

The scary beginning only served to remind me that this situation could strike almost any of us.

“This lady comes in.  She’s got a big bag of papers and she was crying,” Michael started off. “I asked, ‘What’s going on?’ She said, ‘The IRS and the state, both of them put a levy on my accounts.’”

“The authorities took a really great amount of money,” Michael said. No wonder the woman was distraught.

“She had some money in the bank and when she went to get it, there [was] nothing in there. She wasn’t even told about it.” Michael said.

The levy notice said she owed $44,000. (Not a good holiday story so far… just waits…)

“I asked her to bring me the last return that was done for her and all the mail that she got from IRS and had her sign the power of attorney form for me, and I called the IRS,” Michael continues, describing how he began to fulfill his holiday hero role.

The IRS said his new client owed money on every return she’d filed for the past 11 years.

“There is something wrong in here, especially that her status showed eligibility for refund.” our hero thought, and asked her for all her old returns that she could put her hand on. In all, she brought in 11 years of returns.

“To my surprise, they were all done wrong!” Michael said.”And the reason I was even more surprised, all returns were done by a very, very reputable company.”

“So I went back and amended all the taxes for the 11 years. And I did the years that she didn’t file to bring her up to date.”

Now here’s the holiday heartwarming part:

“The woman ended up getting about $33,000 back, not owing $44,000.”

“Once she was getting the checks from the IRS she used to come to me and tell me, ‘Look, I got this. Is this my money? Can I take it to the bank?’  I said, ‘Everything you’re getting is yours!’”

“This is one of the situations that really make this job worth doing,” Michael glowed.

Michael’s company, MZ Services, is located in Pasadena at 3212 E Colorado Blvd. For more information, call (626) 584-8100, Cell (626) 483-7436.

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