Financial Advice

Did the IRS Send Notice to My Clients Issuing me a 1099 and Tell Them About My Unfiled Taxes?


Dear Steve,

I am a 72 year old freelance patent draftsman who has been working continuously* with patent attorneys since 1965.

* except for military service from 1968-1971.

I have a number of years of unfiled tax returns. Work requests have stopped from previous clients and I’d like to know if the IRS has sent notices to those clients (who’ve sent 1099s).

Is there a way to find any letters or notices that may have been sent and to whom.



Dear Mark,

Besides the obvious options of contacting the IRS or your past clients in question, I can’t imagine an easy way to discover this information.

Even under the IRS Freedom of Information Act information release it is doubtful you would be able to obtain case specific information. Besides you’d have to provide your identification for information on yourself.

In that case you might as well contact the IRS directly and ask about your specific issues. However, this might be the perfect time to get the help and advice from a tax attorney or IRS Enrolled Agent who has experience in dealing with the IRS. The same professional you select can assist you with the unfiled tax returns as well.

Ultimately the issue you raise is less about the IRS than it is about the possible changing face of employment of hiring patent drawing freelancers. If you look at this link you will find all sorts of examples of freelancers from $20-$60 per hour. Now all the people listed through that link may not have the same skills and experience you do.

And then there are people online like Maddipati who will do patent design and drawings for as little as $10.

Maybe listing yourself on a site like and seeking new clients may not only provide you with a new source of clients but also a buffer between payments and the IRS since Upwork stands between you and your client.

Honestly, the logical first step would be to contact your past clients and ask them for feedback why they are not using you anymore.

Steve Rhode

Get Out of Debt GuyTwitter, G+, Facebook

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This article by Steve Rhode first appeared on Get Out of Debt Guy and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.