The IRS sends out millions of letters or notices to taxpayers for many reasons and has provided the following recommendations on how to manage them wisely.
- Don't panic! Merely replying to the letter or notice will take care of most issues.
- Don't ignore the letter! Most letters or notices deal with a specific issue in regards to federal tax returns or tax accounts and includes clear-cut instructions on what to do. Read it thoroughly, and reply by the date stated on the correspondence.
- Respond Timely! A timely response could lessen any added interest or penalties being owed by you. A notice may not only be about additional taxes owed, but it could also be requesting additional information about a specific issue or an item on your tax return.
- A notice may point out something that was changed or corrected on your tax return. Go over the information provided and compare it against your orignal return. If you accept the changes, its a good idea to make notes of the corrections on your copy of the return for safekeeping. Unless instructed to do so, or to make a payment, you may not be required to to respond to the notice.
- If you don't agree with the notice received from the IRS, you must send a response by letter in the mail detailing what you don't agree with. Include any information and documents for the IRS to consider, allowing for a minimum of 30 days for the IRS to respond.
- There is usually no need to call or make an appointment with the IRS unless it seems necessary. If it does seem necessary, call the phone number at the top right corner of the notice and have a copy of the letter and tax return available when calling.
- Always keep copies of any letters or notices received with your tax records.
- The IRS and its authorized private collection agency will only send notices by mail. They will not demand payment a certain way such as prepaid debit or credit cards, but will offer several payment options for taxes owed.
- IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2017-04: Tips on how to handle an IRS letter or notice. Retrieved from www.IRS.gov. (7/10/2017)