What To Do If You Receive An IRS Notice

It’s a moment all of us dread. A letter arrives from the IRS – and it’s not a refund check. Don’t panic; many of these letters can be dealt with easily and painlessly. Tax help may be required from a qualified California tax attorney for certain types of IRS tax problems so you may want to inquire with your tax lawyer before you respond to the IRS.

Each year, the IRS sends millions of letters and notices to us to notify us of a change to our account, request payment of taxes, or request additional information. Each letter and notice offers specific instructions on what we are asked to do to satisfy the inquiry. The notice we receive normally covers a very specific issue about our account or tax return. You should review the correspondence and compare it with the information on your return.

Agree? If you agree with the correction to your account, no reply is necessary unless a payment is due.

Disagree? If you do not agree with the correction the IRS made, it is important that you respond as requested and write to explain why you disagree. Include any documents and information you wish the IRS to consider, along with the bottom tear-off portion of the notice. Mail the information to the IRS address shown in the upper left-hand corner of the notice. Allow about 30 days for a reply.

Questions? If you have questions, call the telephone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Have your tax return and the correspondence available when you call so your account can be accessed. Most correspondence can be handled without calling or visiting an IRS office, if you follow the instructions in the letter or notice.

Be sure to keep copies of any correspondence with your records. Sometimes, the IRS sends another letter or notice requesting more information or providing more information to you.

For additional information about IRS notices and bills, Publication 594, What You Should Know about the IRS Collection Process, is a good resource. Information about penalties and interest charges is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

For questions you may have about the notice or letter you received, please call Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259 to obtain the tax help you may need.