I filed my state (MA) and federal tax last week. Yesterday, I received a
request for "verification". I needed to send copies of documents that
confirmed my state tax withholdings. 2 sources, part time W2 job at a
school, and IRA withdrawals.
For the IRA, the broker 1099 was submitted, and for the W2 income, they
wanted both the W2 and copy of year end pay stub.
What struck me as odd was twofold. First, "pay stubs" are often an
emailed PDF. Who keeps these? Fortunately, I did, as I was tracking some
extra sub pay, but normally, I'd delete those emails after confirming
the direct deposit. Second, what is the point of this verification? Did
they not get the withheld money, or is this some random event?
If the IRS wrote "we would like to verify your (very) charitable
donations" that would make sense to me. The forms ask for numbers, but
it's an honor system. Which is why, given that I try to be generous, I
make sure every donation has a matching receipt. Same for the medical
It just strikes me that this is one of the few things that wouldn't be
subject to trying to submit incorrect data. What am I missing?
I've never heard of any tax authority asking for pay stubs when W-2s
Are you 100% positive this came from the IRS? It sounds to me like
some sort of scam, perhaps an attempt to get your Social Security
What strikes me as odd and fishy, is that in all the years of preparing
returns I have never had a tax authority (state or federal) send a
request for anything relating to a return that had been filed within a
week's time (e-filed or paper).
It was the state, Massachusetts Dept of Revenue. And, yes, 100% sure as
the document showed the number I declared as having been withheld, along
with the request to reply on line, and it was the legit web site.
There's also their number to call if any questions, but it didn't seem
worth bothering, as I had the documents handy. What would I ask? "Didn't
you get the money?" The amount I withheld was high relative to prior
years, due to a larger IRA withdrawal, so refund amount is only a few
For what it's worth, I got the TurboTax confirming email "Your
Massachusetts return was accepted" on July 5, and the letter was sent on
July 7. Thx for the response.
In responding to Stan, I noted, the return, filed online, was accepted
on July 5 and the letter was dated July 7. I'm not "concerned" about
anything, just curious, what triggered them. 95%+ of the money (the
withheld tax) was from the IRA withdrawal, maybe they lost it?
In my experience bureaucracy runs much slower than that. If your
return was accepted on July 5 and the letter was dated July 7, my guess
is that the letter was unrelated to your return. Maybe there was
something they thought was suspicious or at least out of the ordinary
concerning a W-2 they received, and they wanted to see if the pay stubs
matched the numbers on what they received.
My curiosity continued, especially with this response. I signed into my
state's "check mt refund status, and here we are:
"Your return was received on 5-Jul-2020 and requires additional
information for processing. A letter was issued on 7-Jul-2020 detailing
the additional information needed. Please log in to MassTaxConnect, or
sign up for an account, to view this letter, or allow 7-10 business days
to receive the letter by mail."
(Of course, I agree that bureaucracies usually take far longer to do
anything, which makes this all the more remarkable. My expected refund
is a few hundred dollars, so no rush.)
- The fact that the additional information letter was issued two days
after receiving the return indicates (to me anyway) a computer generated
letter that I doubt a human ever looked at. I smell a mismatch between
MA's 1099/W-2 records and the total amount of MA withholdings claimed on
- Since either the 1099 or W-2 information MA has could be incomplete or
incorrect, they asked for documentation on all withholding. Asking for
both the W-2 and the year end pay stub lets them determine the correct
W-2 withholding in the event the employer didn't issue a W-2 without
having to send you a second letter asking for the pay stub.