by Michael Lodge
On a daily basis we get calls from clients that they have received a letter from the IRS. Once they see an envelope in their mail that says IRS on it they panic. They never read the letter, they just call us and panic. We tell them to fax or email us the letter so we can review it and respond for them. But here is a good guide on what you should do when getting a letter from the IRS.
Your notice or letter will explain the reason for the contact and give you instructions on how to handle the issue.
If you agree with the information, there is no need to contact our office or the IRS.
Why was I notified by the IRS?
The IRS sends notices and letters for the following reasons:
- You have a balance due.
- You are due a larger or smaller refund.
- We have a question about your tax return.
- We need to verify your identity.
- We need additional information.
- We changed your return.
- We need to notify you of delays in processing your return.
Each notice or letter contains a lot of valuable information, so it’s very important that you read it carefully. If the IRS changed your tax return, compare the information the IRS provided in the notice or letter with the information in your original return. If you do not understand the letter please call your tax accountant, send them a copy of your notice, and let the tax accountant respond.
If your notice or letter requires a response by a specific date, there are 2 main reasons you’ll want to comply:
- to minimize additional interest and penalty charges.
- to preserve your appeal rights if you don’t agree.
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 the IRS payments page for more information. Consult with your tax accountant on the best approach to take.
Keep a copy of your notice or letter
It’s important to keep a copy of all notices or letters with your tax records. You may need these documents at a later date.
The IRS provide their contact phone number on the top right-hand corner of the notice or letter. Typically, you only need to contact IRS if you don’t agree with the information, if the IRS requested additional information, or if you have a balance due. You can also write to the IRS at the address in the notice or letter. If you write, allow at least 30 days for their response.
The best approach is to have your tax accountant deal with the IRS on your behalf.
The location of the notice or letter number
You can find the notice (CP) or letter (LTR) number on either the top or the bottom right-hand corner of your correspondence.
When the notice or letter isn’t listed on this page
The IRS will continue to add more correspondence to our website. If your notice or letter isn’t listed on this page and you have questions, call the IRS at the number on the top right-hand corner of your correspondence.
When the notice or letter looks suspicious
Please visit the IRS Report Phishing page if you receive a notice or letter that looks suspicious and was designed to appear as though it came from the IRS. You can also call 1-800-829-1040. The IRS will never ask taxpayers for personal information via e-mail or social media.
For tax issues contact our office at: 877.778.1770