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LIEUTENANT COLONEL JANET H. FENTON, JA, Deputy, Legal Assistance Policy
Division. B.A., Idaho State University, 1983; J.D., Pepperdine University School of Law, 1986;
114th Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course, 1987; Combined Arms and Services Staff School,
1995; LL.M., 44th Judge Advocate Officer Graduate Course, 1996; United States Army
Command and General Staff College, 1999; LL.M. (Taxation), University of Washington School
of Law, 2001. Legal Assistance Attorney, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, 1987-Oct 1988; Special
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, Oct 1988- Oct 1989; Defense Counsel, Schofield
Barracks, Hawaii, Oct 1989- Dec 1990; Chief, Legal Assistance, Fort Ord, California, Dec 1990-
Aug 1991; Chief, Military Justice, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Aug 1991- 1993; 5th Recruiting
Brigade Judge Advocate, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 1993-1995; Professor, Legal Assistance
Branch, Administrative and Civil Law Department, The Judge Advocate Generals School,
Charlottesville, Virginia, 1996-1999; Chief, Claims, Fort Lewis, Washington, Jun 1999-Jan
2000; Chief, Military Justice, Fort Lewis, Washington, Feb 2000- Aug 2000; Deputy, Legal
Assistance Policy Division, Washington D.C., 2001-2003; Executive Director, Armed Forces
Tax Council, Washington, D.C., 2003-2006. Member of the Bars of Hawaii, Texas, Washington,
9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Administrative and Civil Law Department. B.S., United States Military Academy, 1994; J.D.,
The University of Texas School of Law, 2000; LL.M. (Military Law), 54th Judge Advocate
Graduate Course, 2006; LL.M. (Taxation, with Certificate in Estate Planning), Georgetown
University Law Center, 2009. Air Assault, 1992; Military Police Officer Basic Course,
Protective Services, and Master Fitness, 1994; 153rd Judge Advocate Basic Course, 2000;
Combined Arms and Services Staff School, 2002; Intermediate Level Education, 2008. Platoon
Leader and Executive Officer, 401st Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion,
89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas, with a deployment to Panama, 1995-1997;
Administrative Law Attorney and Chief of Administrative Law, 2nd Infantry Division, South
Korea, 2001-2002; Trial Counsel, Chief of Claims, and Chief of Legal Assistance, 25th Infantry
Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, with a deployment to Afghanistan with CJTF-76, 2002-
2005; Senior Defense Counsel, Fort Stewart, Georgia, 2006-2008. Member of the Bars of Texas,
the United States Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Federal Claims
LIEUTENANT COLONEL DON F. SVENDSEN, JR., is an Air Force Reserve attorney
attached to the Air Force Judge Advocate School, Maxwell, Alabama. Upon graduation from the
College of William and Mary in 1990, Lieutenant Colonel Svendsen was commissioned an active
duty second lieutenant in the US Army field artillery. He served as a fire support officer with the
1/72 Armored Tank Battalion, 2d Infantry Division, Camp Casey, Korea, transferred to the
Finance Corps and continued to serve with various increasingly responsible positions at Fort
Belvoir, Virginia, the Army Staff at the Pentagon, and finally with the Eighth Quadrennial
Review of Military Compensation with the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Upon leaving
active duty, Lieutenant Colonel Svendsen worked at the accounting firm, Coopers & Lybrand
LLP (later PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP) as a tax manager, at a small law firm specializing in
estate tax planning, and as the Chief of Enforcement for the Internal Revenue Service Office of
Professional Responsibility. Lieutenant Colonel Svendsen is a graduate of the George
Washington University law school, the Air Command and Staff College, and the Air War
College. In his civilian capacity, Lieutenant Colonel Svendsen currently serves as the Assistant
Director for Military Compensation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
A. Talking to all of the players.
1. Taxpayer prepared return. Youll save a lot of time and energy if you
meet with the taxpayer that actually prepared the return. The spouse that
keeps the household records or the spouse that was available for the
appointment or the child whose parent prepared the return are all going to
balk at the significant questions you pose. Hours can be wasted trying to
calculate basis or useful life where the preparer has the information at their
2. Tax Center prepared return. A call to the Tax Center might prove
rewarding. While Tax Center personnel tend to be transient, offices often
retain previous years returns. Additionally, someone at the Tax Center
may be attempting to assist or contact the taxpayer on the issues in
3. Commercially prepared returns. The taxpayer may have paid for some
sort of audit assistance or penalty and interest insurance. Most contractual
provisions require the taxpayer to promptly notify the preparer of any IRS
A. IRS notices commonly ask the taxpayer to characterize his position
with regard to the issue.

1. Fully agree with the notice. There is no issue in controversy. The
taxpayers may wish to have the interest abated. The IRS Restructuring
and Reform Act of 1998 requires the IRS to notify taxpayers of proposed
discrepancies within 18 months of the original filing date in order to
charge interest. Additionally, the Tax Reform Act of 1986 allows the IRS
to reduce or remove interest attributable to errors or delays made by the
IRS in the performance of ministerial acts.
2. Partially agree with the notice. The taxpayers wish to have the IRS
any taxes attributed to the incorrect changes made by the IRS. Taxpayers
will substantiate the correct entries and ask the IRS to recompute taxes,
penalties and interest.
3. Wholly disagree with the notice. Taxpayers will substantiate the entries
and computations on the return and ask the IRS to confirm the original
taxes due or refund requested.
B. Regardless of the position the taxpayers take on the notice, the reply to any
should clearly state the name and address of the taxpayers, the tax year in
question, the tax form originally filed, the notice to which the reply pertains, and
any client authorization involved. Enclose the reply in the bar coded envelope
provided by the IRS. The IRS Service Center must hand sort other envelopes and
this will increase the processing time, at best. At worst the plain envelope will be
routed to an incorrect office