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Tyler Perry audit ends in $9M refund, firing of accountants

Tyler Perry working on a production-cropped_Facebook
Tyle Perry working on one of his many productions. (Facebook photo)

Most of us would celebrate getting a $9 million refund from the Internal Revenue Service. But then, most of us aren't billionaire media mogul and philanthropist Tyler Perry.

When an IRS audit resulted in Uncle Sam handing over the multimillions, Perry fired his accounting team.

"I'll let you make a million mistakes, but you can't do the same thing over and over again. That's how I run my business. Here's the mistake. Let's fix it; let's move forward," Perry told the audience at a recent Earn Your Leisure Conference.

Issues with IRS: At the event, Perry talked about his successful career journey, as well as some of its challenges and learning experiences, like the three-year IRS audit. Earn Your Leisure posted an Instagram clip, embedded below.

Perry's IRS story also was recounted by Black Enterprise.

The coverage from both websites earns this weekend's dual Saturday Shout Out.

Paying for proper advice: Perry's point is well taken. The goal of all taxpayers, and their professional tax advisers, is to come as close to possible during the tax year to paying the ultimate tax liability.

Too little paid ends up in filers owing the U.S. Treasury. Too much means you get a refund, although usually not nearly the post-audit amount Perry received

In Perry's case, it likely was some errors and misinterpretations of tax law that ended up producing the ultimately positive federal payback.

So I totally understand him wanting to end his relationship with the group of financial professionals that (1) filed a tax return that prompted a tax audit, and (2) filed a return that was so off the mark that he got $9 million back from that filing.

Picking a tax pro: That's why all of us, regardless of our wealth level, need to make sure we pick the proper tax pro for our circumstances.

Then we need to thoroughly check out our chosen tax adviser.

And once we've hired reputable, knowledgeable tax help, we need to realize the employment situation works both ways. We must make sure our tax preparers want to keep us as clients.

Being treated properly by the IRS: A tax professional definitely is imperative any time you must deal with the IRS.

Professional tax advice during an audit can help us not only get a good outcome, but also keep us from making us during this extraordinarily trying tax time worse.

The IRS' own Taxpayer Bill of Rights also can help.

Perry also apparently took advantage of the second item in that declaration. The Right to Quality Service says that in dealing with the IRS, we all have, among other rights, the option to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

During his extended audit, Perry reportedly got the IRS agent handling the examination removed from the case and replaced with one of his superiors.

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