What You Need to Know if You Get a Letter in the Mail from the IRS

From the Desk of Michael T. McCormick

What You Need to Know if You Get a Letter in the Mail from the IRS

Each year, the IRS mails millions of notices and letters to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. If you receive correspondence from IRS:

1. Don’t panic. We can usually deal with a notice simply by responding to it.

2. Most IRS notices are about federal tax returns or tax accounts. Each notice has specific instructions, so send this to our office immediately so we can review it. There are often deadlines associated with these notices that we will need to accommodate.

3. Your notice will likely be about changes to your account, taxes you owe or a payment request. However, your notice may ask you for more information about a specific issue.

4. If your notice says that the IRS changed or corrected your tax return, 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. Again, always run the notice by our office so we can make sure that the notice is not in error even if the amount is small.

6. If you don’t agree with the notice, we need to respond. The first line of defense is usually to write a letter that explains why you disagree, and include information and documents you want the IRS to consider. Allow at least 30 days for a response.

7. For most notices, we won’t even need to call or deal with IRS in person.

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

9. Be alert for tax scams. The IRS sends letters and notices by mail. IRS does not contact people by phone, email or social media to ask for personal or financial information. If you owe tax, you have several payment options. The IRS won’t demand that you pay a certain way, such as prepaid debit or credit card. These scams are abundant so make sure you contact our office whenever you receive contact from someone purporting to be from IRS.