IRS decides Iowan is not authorized to speak on his own behalf


By Paul Brennan | Iowa Watchdog

DES MOINES, Iowa — It should have been simple.

Jason Dinesen was just writing to the IRS to clarify a clerical matter. As an accountant, Dinesen knows only too well the IRS can turn simple matters into surprisingly complex ones.

What he didn’t expect was that the IRS would try to turn him into two different people.

In June, Dinesen received a letter from the IRS telling him he was the wrong payroll form for his company, Dinesen Tax & Accounting.

The payroll at Dinesen Tax & Accounting isn’t complicated. Dinesen is the company’s sole owner and its only employee.

Dinesen was convinced he was filing the correct form.

“It’s not a big issue. It’s just a clerical matter. So I wrote them a letter explaining why I thought I was already filing the correct form and asking them to update their files,” Dinesen told Iowa Watchdog.

On Sept. 22, Dinesen received the IRS’s reply.

“The letter said they had received a letter from my accountant, requesting changes be made to my account and they cannot make those changes because my accountant is not authorized to act on my behalf,” Dinesen said.

“Of course, the accountant is me. But the letter I sent I clearly signed as the owner of my company, not as an accountant acting on someone’s behalf,” Dinesen explained.

“I even included a copy of the letter they originally sent me along with my letter to make it as easy for them as possible to resolve the matter.”

But the IRS’s way is seldom the easy way.

HE’S NOT HIMSELF? The IRS has told accountant Jason Dinesen he’s not authorized to speak on his own behalf.

“Being told you aren’t authorized to speak for yourself is unique. I’ve not seen that before,” Joe Kristan told Iowa Watchdog.

Kristan is an accountant in Des Moines and writes the widely read and well-respected Tax Update Blog.

Kristan’s blog regularly features absurd IRS actions and decisions.

“Although I’ve never seen this particular problem before, in a way I’m not surprised,” Kristan said.

“The IRS seems to be really good at letting two-bit grifters steal identities, but they make it really difficulty for tax professional to discuss their clients’ problems.”

“The past four to give years have seen a real decline in the level of professionalism at the IRS,” Kristan said.

“It used to be possible to fix blatantly wrong things without too much stress or sweat. That’s not the case anymore.”

On Wednesday, Dinesen sent the IRS another letter, explaining in detail there is only one Jason Dinesen at Jason Dinesen’s one-person company.

He’s hopeful that will clear up the matter.

In its letter, the IRS said that if Jason Dinesen wanted Jason Dinesen to speak on his behalf, Dinesen would have to file a power-of-attorney with the IRS authorizing it.

“I’m not filing a power-of-attorney on my own behalf,” Dinesen said with a laugh.

Dinesen said he can’t help finding the absurdity of his current identity problem amusing.

“That’s because it’s such a minor matter this time,” Dinesen said. “It’s not like what happened with Wendy.”

In August, Iowa Watchdog reported on Dinesen long struggle with the IRS to resolve the case of his client Wendy Boka Gonzalez.

Boka Gonzalez was the victim of an identity theft that caused the IRS to start collection proceeding against her, instead of sending her the refund she was owed.

It took Dinesen 850 days to get that case resolved.

Asked he thinks he can get the IRS to allow him to speak on his own behalf in less than 850 days, Dinesen said, “Yes.”

After a slight pause, he added, “I hope so.”

Contact Paul Brennan at