IRS correspondence. The IRS will mail a letter or a notice to a taxpayer if there is something wrong with the taxpayer’s return or if the agency needs more information about the return or the person who filed it. The IRS will also send the taxpayer a notice if it changes the taxpayer’s return.
If a taxpayer receives mail from the IRS, they should open it and read it carefully.
Don’t ignore the mail. Taxpayers should never ingore mail from the IRS. The notice or letter will explain why the IRS is contacting the taxpayer and will tell the taxpayer what they need to do.
Don’t panic. Taxpayers should read the notice or letter carefully and follow the included instructions. For example, if the IRS changed the taxpayer’s return, the taxpayer should compare the information in the notice or letter with the information on their filed return. Generally, if the taxpayer agrees with the changes the IRS made, they don’t need to contact the IRS.
Timely respond to the notice or letter. A taxpayer should promptly respond to any notice or letter from the IRS that requires a response. By responding quickly, the taxpayer will:
- Avoid delays in processing their tax return.
- Minimize any additional interest and penalty charges.
- Preserve their rights to appeal changes they don’t agree with.
Note. The faster the IRS can process a return that includes an overpayment, the faster the taxpayer gets their refund.
Amount due notices. If a taxpayer receives a balance-due notice, the taxpayer should pay as much as they can, even if they can’t pay the full amount due. The IRS has a variety of ways to pay, and most taxpayers should be able to use the self-help tools on IRS.gov to set up a payment plan.
Keep a copy of any IRS correspondence. Taxpayers should keep a copy of all notices or letters with other tax records.
When calling the IRS. If a taxpayer must contact the IRS by phone, they should use the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. The taxpayer should have a copy of their tax return and the notice or letter when calling.
Typically, taxpayers only need to contact the IRS if:
- They don’t agree with the changes the IRS made to their return,
- The IRS requests additional information from the taxpayer, or
- The taxpayer has a balance due and can’t pay.
Taxpayers can also write to the agency at the address on the notice or letter. Taxpayer replies are worked on a first-come, first-served basis and will be processed based on the date the IRS receives it.
Source: Checkpoint Newsstand 5/3/21