For a variety of reasons, the IRS mails letters or notices to taxpayers, including the following:
- They owe money.
- They are entitled to a greater or lesser refund.
- The agency is inquiring about the taxpayer’s tax return.
- They must establish identity.
- Additional information is required by the agency.
- The organization amended their tax return.
If a taxpayer receives an IRS letter or notice, they should take the following actions:
- Not disregard it. The IRS sends the majority of letters and notices regarding federal tax returns or tax accounts. The notice or letter will explain why you have been contacted and will provide instructions on how to proceed.
- Not to be alarmed. Generally, the IRS and its authorized private collection agencies contact taxpayers through the mail. Often, all that is required of the taxpayer is to carefully read the letter and take the appropriate action.
- Carefully and completely read the notice. If the IRS makes changes to the taxpayer’s tax return, the taxpayer should compare the information contained in the notice or letter to the information contained in the taxpayer’s original return. In general, if the taxpayer agrees with the notice, there is no need to contact the IRS.
- React promptly. If the notice or letter specifies a response deadline, taxpayers should respond promptly to avoid delays in processing their tax return and to avoid incurring additional interest and penalty charges.
if they do not agree, they retain their appeal rights.
- Pay the balance due. Taxpayers should make every effort to pay as much as possible, even if they are unable to pay the full amount. Individuals can pay online or apply for a payment arrangement, such as an installment agreement or an Offer in Compromise, online. The agency accepts a variety of payment methods.
- Ensure that you retain a copy of the notice or letter. It is critical for taxpayers to maintain a copy of all notices or letters along with other tax records. They may require these documents in the future.
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Bear in mind that there is typically no reason to contact the IRS. If a taxpayer needs to contact the IRS by phone, they should dial the number located in the notice’s upper right-hand corner. When contacting the IRS, the taxpayer should bring a copy of their tax return and letter with them. Generally, taxpayers should contact the IRS only if they disagree with the information provided, if the IRS requests additional information, or if the taxpayer owes money. Additionally, taxpayers may write to the agency at the address specified on the notice or letter. Taxpayer responses are handled on a first-come, first-served basis and are processed in the order in which they are received by the IRS.