A Step-By-Step Guide to Navigating IRS Tax Notices

A Step-By-Step Guide to Navigating IRS Tax Notices

You walk to your mailbox, and as you flip through your mail, you spot an envelope from the IRS. Your heart skips a beat, and your mind races with questions. But take a deep breath—receiving a letter from the IRS doesn’t mean disaster. In fact, the IRS sends notices and letters for various reasons, like asking questions about your tax return, notifying you of changes to your account, or requesting a payment. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of handling an IRS letter, so you can approach the situation with confidence and ease.

Read the letter carefully: Begin by carefully reading the letter or notice from the IRS. These documents usually pertain to federal tax returns or tax accounts and address specific issues, outlining any required actions. Notices may reference changes to your account, taxes owed, payment requests, or particular issues with your tax return. Acting promptly can help minimize additional interest and penalty charges.

Review the information: If the letter concerns a changed or corrected tax return, take the time to review the information and compare it with your original return. If you agree with the changes, make notes on your personal copy of the tax return and store it in your records. Typically, you’ll only need to take action if you disagree with the information, if the IRS requests more information, or if you have a balance due.

Reply only if instructed to do so: Unless specifically instructed to reply, there’s no need to do so. Avoid calling the IRS unless necessary. However, if you must call, use the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice and have a copy of your tax return and the letter handy.

Let the IRS know of a disputed notice: If you disagree with the information in the notice, follow the provided instructions to dispute it. Include relevant information and documents for the IRS to review when considering your dispute.

Keep the letter or notice for their records: Always keep any notices or letters you receive from the IRS, including adjustment notices when the IRS takes action on your account. As a general rule, keep your tax records for three years from the date you filed the return.

Watch for scams: Remember that the IRS will never contact you via social media or text message. Initial contact from the IRS typically comes through the mail. If you’re unsure about whether you owe money to the IRS, you can check your tax account information on the IRS website.

Receiving a letter from the IRS can be intimidating, but by following these simple steps, you can tackle the situation with poise and confidence. The key is to stay calm, thoroughly read the notice, and take appropriate action as needed. By doing so, you can handle any tax-related issue that comes your way, leaving you with a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind.

***Disclaimer: This communication is not intended as tax advice, and no tax accountant -client relationship results**

« »