What do I do if I receive a letter from the IRS?
The IRS sends millions of notices to taxpayers every year. If one shows up in your mailbox, don’t panic! Most of these notices only require a simple response to clarify data. Some notices might even be letting you know of an unexpected refund due to you.
Reasons for IRS Letters
- You have a balance due
- You are due a larger or smaller refund
- The IRS has a question about your tax return
- The IRS needs to verify your identity
- The IRS needs additional information
- The IRS changed your return
- The IRS needs to notify you of delays in processing your return
Important Info About IRS Letters
- The first thing you should do is send a copy of the notice to your tax preparer. Let your tax preparer sift through the notice to clarify its purpose.
- Be careful of scams and phishing attempts. To learn more, read our article “Is it the IRS, or a scam?” You can also visit the IRS website for more info - Click Here
Responding to IRS Letters
- Read. Go through the entire letter carefully, as each letter contains specific information about how to respond. Letters will provide details about why you’re due an added refund. Or a letter will detail what you owe, such as tax, interest and penalties. It will also provide an explanation about why you owe taxes, or why a refund claim was denied.
- Compare. Check out how the information in the notice compares with your originally filed tax return.
- Respond. If your letter requires a response by a specific date, be sure to comply so you can minimize interest/penalties and preserve your appeal rights if you don’t agree. It’s best to respond by mailing a letter explaining your disagreement, along with information and supporting documents for the IRS to consider. The IRS address will be listed at the bottom of the letter. Allow at least 30 days for a response from the IRS.
- Pay. Assuming the letter says you owe and that you agree, you should pay as much as you can, even if you can’t pay the full amount you owe. You can pay online or apply for an online payment agreement or offer in compromise. Visit our website for references on each option - Click Here
- Record. Keep copies of all letters with your tax records as you may need them at a later date. Retain copies of your responses as well.
- Follow Up. The IRS provides contact info on all letters. A phone number and the notice/letter ID number can generally be found in the upper right-hand corner of letters.
Contact us any time with questions about IRS letters…we’re happy to help!
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