The IRS mails millions of letters to taxpayers every year for many reasons. Here are seven simple suggestions on how individuals can handle a letter or notice from the IRS:
1. Don’t panic. Simply responding will take care of most IRS letters and notices.
2. Read the entire letter carefully. If you don’t fully understand your letter our website and the IRS website has a lot of helpful information. If those options don’t work you can always contact your tax professional for more assistance.
3. Compare it with the tax return. If a letter indicates a changed or corrected tax return, the taxpayer should review the information and compare it with their original return.
4. Only reply if necessary. There is usually no need to reply to a letter unless specifically instructed to do so or to make a payment.
5. Respond timely. Taxpayers should respond to a letter with which they do not agree. They should mail a letter explaining why they disagree. They should mail their response to the address listed at the bottom of the letter. The taxpayer should include information and documents for the IRS to consider. The taxpayer should allow at least 30 days for a response.
When a specific date is listed in the letter, there are two main reasons taxpayers should respond by that date:
- To minimize additional interest and penalty charges.
- To preserve appeal rights if the taxpayers doesn’t agree.
6. Don’t call. For most letters, there is no need to call the IRS or make an appointment at a taxpayer assistance center. If a call seems necessary, Call a tax professional for assistance.
7. Keep the letter. A taxpayer should keep copies of any IRS letters or notices received with their tax records.
You should also be aware that the letter you received could not be from the IRS but from a scammer. IRS scams are continuing to increase and all taxpayers should be aware.