I went through my usual question and answers with him:
1. Did you send in final 941's and final 940 forms? Yes.
2. What were the value of the assets in the business on that date of closure? ZERO.
Based on his answers, I told this guy to do NOTHING and pay no one to represent him. The IRS has THREE YEARS from the date of closure to assess the Trust Fund portion of the 941's against him. Based on my experience, a liability this small - 16k -- would NOT prompt the IRS to assign a Revenue Officer to assess it against him.
However, if they did, I told him to give me a call. Had he not closed the corporation properly, I might have collected a retainer from him to research and assist him to do that correctly.
ON THE OTHER HAND, if you are Limon, Whitaker and Morgan Tax Advisors in Beverly Hills, you try to scare this guy into hiring you, charging a $3000 fee when no services are necessary. These are the guys who send out these very clever mailers -- that look like the IRS sent them to you.
Scary, scary, scary. There is one legitimate tax representation firm in Southern California for every 30 bad ones, it seems.