Comment: I am a retired CPA

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I am a retired CPA

My recommendation is that you DO NOT try to represent yourself before the KGB, I mean the IRS. They will lie to you and do everything to get you flustered until you make mistakes because you are so emotionally invested (and rightfully so!) in the outcome. Never go face to face with them if you can help it.

Since you prepared your own tax return, I would advise you to find a CPA or an EA (an enrolled agent)to review the return and then to deal with the IRS for you. It will be well worth the money.

After 20+ years of being a CPA, I would still never represent myself before the IRS.

If you just recently received the letter, you should have a few weeks to respond. A CPA or EA may be able to just write a letter explaining all of the facts and get everything straightened out.
Good luck!
sdb720