Receiving a letter in the mail from IRS can evoke fear in even the most vigilant taxpayer or business owner. Each year the IRS mails millions of notices. Many of which are simply informing taxpayers of a correction on their return or a request for more detail. What you don't want to do is bury your head in the sand. If you receive a letter from the IRS, here are tips on what you should do:
1. Don’t ignore it. You can respond to most IRS notices quickly and easily. And it’s important that you reply promptly.
2. IRS notices usually deal with a specific issue about your tax return or tax account. For example, it may say the IRS has corrected an error on your tax return. Or it may ask you for more information.
3. Read it carefully and follow the instructions about what you need to do.
4. If it says that the IRS corrected your tax return, review the information in the notice and compare it to your tax return.
If you agree, you don’t need to reply unless a payment is due.
If you don’t agree, it’s important that you respond to the IRS. Write a letter that explains why you don’t agree. Make sure to include information and any documents you want the IRS to consider. Include the bottom tear-off portion of the notice with your letter. Mail your reply to the IRS at the address shown in the lower left part of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response from the IRS.
5. You can handle most notices without calling or visiting the IRS. If you do have questions, call the phone number in the upper right corner of the notice. Make sure you have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call.
6. Keep copies of any notices you get from the IRS.
7. Don’t fall for phone and phishing email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS first contacts people about unpaid taxes by mail – not by phone. The IRS does not contact taxpayers by email, text or social media about their tax return or tax account.
For more on this topic visit IRS.gov. Click on ‘Responding to a Notice’ at the bottom left of the home page. Also see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process. You can get it on IRS.gov or call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) to get it by mail.