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10 Tips to Follow If You Receive a Letter From the IRS

Your taxes have been filed and some of you might have even received a refund from Uncle Sam. Unfortunately, some of you might not have been quite so lucky. You might have received a scarier letter from the IRS.


Each year the IRS mails millions of notices and letters to taxpayers. There are a variety of reasons why they might send you a notice. Here are the top 10 tips to know in case you get one.

  1. Don’t panic. Most notices are informational and those that require responses can often be handled in a simple manner;

  2. Each IRS notice will address a specific matter relating to your tax account on the Federal level. Remember, States address their own tax collection independently of the IRS. It will be about a specific issue, such as changes to your account. It may ask you for more information. It could also explain that you owe tax and that you need to pay the amount that is due. In most cases, these notices will each address a specific tax period/year - so, you will receive multiple notices if there is more than one year involved.

  3. Each notice has specific instructions, so read it carefully. It will tell you what you need to do.

  4. You may get a notice that states the IRS has made a change or correction to your tax return. If you do, review the information and compare it with your original return.

  5. If you agree with the notice, you usually don’t need to reply unless it gives you other instructions or you need to make a payment.

  6. If you do not agree with the notice, it’s important for you to respond. You should write a letter to explain why you disagree. Include any information and documents you want the IRS to consider. Mail your reply with the bottom tear-off portion of the notice. Send it to the address shown in the upper left-hand corner of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response.

  7. You won’t need to call the IRS or visit an IRS office for most notices. If you do have questions, call the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call. This will help the IRS answer your questions.

  8. Always keep copies of any notices you receive with your other tax records.

  9. Be alert for tax scams. The IRS sends letters and notices by mail. The IRS does not contact people by email or social media to ask for personal or financial information. Some scams will send correspondence via the mail, so it is also important to be diligent in recognizing who is mailing you documentation.

  10. For more on this topic visit IRS.gov and read Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process. You can get it on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

In any instance where you have questions about a notice or wish for some assistance in navigating the issues the IRS is corresponding with you about, our team of tax professionals is here to help. Our Tax Debt Pit Crew has extensive knowledge and experience surrounding everything to do with the IRS and are here and ready to help any drivers who may need assistance in working with them.

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