Each year the IRS sends millions of letters and notices to taxpayers. Although some people may feel anxious when they receive one, many are easy to resolve. Here's what to do if you receive a letter or notice from the IRS:
- Don't panic. Follow the instructions in the letter.
- There are many reasons the IRS sends notices to taxpayers. The notice usually covers a specific issue about your account or tax return. It may request payment of taxes, notify you of a change to your account or ask for additional information.
If you receive a notice about a correction to your tax return, you should review it carefully. You usually will need to compare the information in the notice to the entries on your tax return.
- If you agree with the correction, you usually don't need to reply unless a payment is due.
- If you don't agree with the correction the IRS made, it's important that you respond as requested. Respond to the IRS in writing 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 lower left corner of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response from the IRS.
- There is no need for you to call or visit an IRS office to answer most IRS notices. If you have questions, call the telephone number in the upper right corner of the notice. When you call, have a copy of your tax return and the notice available.
- Keep copies of any correspondence with your tax records.
For more information about IRS notices and requests for payment, see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process. For information about penalties and interest charges, see Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals. Both are available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
TaxACT's Audit Assistant provides detailed information and instructions for dealing with IRS notices. If you happen to need additional help, email your questions to TaxPayer Support Specialists for free answers.
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