10 Things to Know about IRS Notices

irs1Each year, the IRS sends millions of notices and letters to taxpayers for a variety of reasons.  Many think that an IRS notice is synonymous with an audit.  You nervously open the envelope or worse, file it away and ignore it.  Many letters and notices can be dealt with simply (with no need to call or visit the IRS).

Recently the IRS redesigned its correspondence to include a plain and simple explanation of the nature as well as any action needed from you, the taxpayer.  So what should you do if one of these letters/notices shows up in your mailbox?  Here are ten things to keep in mind:


  1. Don’t panic. You often only need to respond to take care of a notice.
  2. There are many reasons why the IRS may send a letter or notice. It typically is about a specific issue on your federal tax return or tax account. A notice may tell you about changes to your account or ask you for more information. It could also tell you that you must make a payment.
  3. Each notice has specific instructions about what you need to do.
  4. You may get a notice that states the IRS has made a change or correction to your tax return. If you do, review the information and compare it with your original return.
  5. If you agree with the notice, you usually don’t need to reply unless it gives you other instructions or you need to make a payment.
  6. If you do not agree with the notice, it’s important for you to respond. You should write a letter to explain why you disagree. Include any information and documents you want the IRS to consider. Mail your reply with the bottom tear-off portion of the notice. Send it to the address shown in the upper left-hand corner of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response.
  7. You shouldn’t have to call or visit an IRS office for most notices. If you do have questions, call the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call. This will help the IRS answer your questions.
  8. Keep copies of any notices you receive with your other tax records.
  9. The IRS sends letters and notices by mail. They do not contact people by phone, email or social media to ask for personal or financial information.
  10. Contact Loggins Kern & McCombs for assistance in handling your notice.

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