Tax notices have always evoked panic with many of my clients. One thing you have to remember is many of these notices are “auto generated” and not always up to date or even accurate. If you receive a notice – you may be expecting it. As the tip below from the IRS reads….do not panic. Many times you can call the IRS, I would suggest any day during the week except for Monday or Friday, and inquire about your notice. Depending on the agent you get – many of these notices can be taken care of right over the phone!
From the IRS:
- Do not panic. Simply responding will take care of most IRS letters and notices.
- 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.
- Respond timely. A notice may likely be about changes to a taxpayer’s 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, review the information and compare it with your original return. If the taxpayer agrees, they should note the corrections on their copy of the tax return for their records. There is usually no need to reply to a notice unless specifically instructed to do so, or to make a payment.
- Taxpayers must respond to a notice they do not agree with. They should mail a letter explaining why they disagree to the address on the contact stub at the bottom of the notice. 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.
- 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. Taxpayers have several payment options for taxes owed.