How to Handle an IRS Letter or Notice
The IRS mails millions of letters to taxpayers every year for a variety of reasons. Keep the following suggestions in mind to know how to handle an IRS letter or notice.
- Do not panic. Simply responding will take care of most IRS letters and notices. And, as always, we are here to help if you need us.
- Do not ignore the letter. Most IRS notices are about federal tax returns or tax accounts. Each notice deals with a specific issue and includes specific instructions on what to do. Read the letter carefully; some notices or letters require a response by a specific date.
- As soon as possible, notify our office by supplying us with a copy of the complete notice. This can be faxed to: 440-871-0117, uploaded into our secure client portal, mailed, or hand-delivered.
- We can assist you with a timely response. Notices are often about changes to your account, taxes owed, or a payment request. Sometimes a notice may ask for more information about a specific issue or item on a tax return. A timely response could minimize additional interest and penalty charges.
- If a notice indicates a changed or corrected tax return, it’s important to review the information and compare it with your original return. Please give us a call if you need help with this.
- If you agree with the changes, simply note the corrections on your copy of your tax return in your records. There is usually no need to reply to a notice unless specifically instructed to do so, or to make a payment.
- If you don’t agree with the changes, you’ll need to respond by mailing a letter explaining why you disagree to the address on the contact stub at the bottom of the notice. Be sure to include information and documents for the IRS to consider and allow at least 30 days for a response.
- There is no need to call the IRS or make an appointment at a taxpayer assistance center for most notices. If a call seems necessary, use the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Be sure to have a copy of the related tax return and notice when calling.
- Always keep copies of any notices received with tax records. Please be sure to send or bring us a copy of them.
- The IRS and its authorized private collection agency will send letters and notices by mail. The IRS will not demand payment a certain way, such as prepaid debit or credit card. To make a payment, visit gov/payments or use the IRS2Go app to make a payment with Direct Pay for free, or by debit or credit card through an approved payment processor for a fee.
Finally, it’s important to understand that the IRS will never initiate contact using social media or text message. Contact generally comes in the mail. If you don’t know if you owe money to the IRS, you can find out by checking your tax account information at IRS.gov (search for “view your account”).