Tips for Dealing with IRS Notices

  • June 19, 2013
  • Mark Hughes CPA CFE

mailboxEach year, the IRS sends MILLIONS of letters and notices to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. Here are a few things you should know about IRS notices in case one shows up in your mailbox.

  • Do not panic, a majority of these letters only require a simple response to conflicting information that the IRS has received.  There are many reasons why the IRS sends correspondence.  If you receive an IRS notice, it will typically cover a very specific issue about your account or tax return.  Notices may require payment, notify you of changes to your account or ask you to provide more information.
  • Each notice offers specific instructions on what you need to do to satisfy the inquiry.  If you receive a notice advising you that the IRS has corrected your tax return, you should review the correspondence and compare it with the information on your return.
  • If you agree with the correction to your account, then usually no reply is necessary unless a payment is due or the notice directs otherwise.
  • If you do not agree with the correction the IRS made, it is important that you respond as requested.  A written explanation of why you disagree should generally be sent, however, sometimes a phone call can help elevate the situation.  Any information and documentation necessary to support your position should be included with your response.

Most notices received can be resolved without calling or visiting an IRS office.  Remember to keep copies of any notices you receive with your other income tax records.  The IRS only sends notices and letters by mail. The agency never contacts taxpayers about their tax account or tax return initially by telephone or email.  If you receive an IRS notice that you do not think you can afford to pay or are afraid to address it, do not stick your head in the sand and hope it goes away, give us a call and we can help you through it.