Have You Received a Letter or Notice from the IRS?

If you have received a letter or notice from the IRS, do not panic. The IRS sends out millions of letters to taxpayers every year. The majority of letters sent by the IRS are about a specific issue on your federal tax return, such as:

  • Money you owe;
  • Increasing or decreasing your tax refund;
  • Clarifying information about your tax return;
  • Requesting additional information regarding your tax return;
  • Verifying your identity;
  • Confirming changes or corrections the IRS made to your tax return; or
  • Advising you the processing of your tax return will be delayed.

In some cases, if you agree with the information provided by the IRS, you will not need to do anything. If the IRS is requesting you to provide additional information, each notice will include specific instructions regarding what you need to do.

So, what should you do? Should you answer the IRS? If you are not sure or do not understand the notice, seek the advise of a professional tax preparer. It is important you understand the notice completely before replying. Do not ignore the notice! Replying in a timely manner is key. Ignoring the notice could cause additional penalties and interest to be applied or could cause the IRS to hold your refund longer.

Agreeing with the IRS Notice

If you agree with the changes or corrections in the IRS notice, in most cases, you will not need to reply to the notice unless the IRS provides specific instructions or requires payment. If you agree and the notice does not need a response but requires payment, you will just need to submit the payment by the due date to resolve the matter.

Disagreeing with the IRS Notice

If you disagree with the IRS notice, it is important you respond in a timely manner. If you do not respond, you could be assessed tax, penalties, and/or interest that may not apply to your tax situation or could be easily avoided. In some situations, taxpayers are owed a refund and do not realize it.

In some cases, you may need to amend a previous years’ tax return to provide additional information or update information originally submitted to the IRS, if it was submitted incorrectly.

Watch Out for Scams!

Scammers prey more on taxpayers during tax season. Typically, the IRS will mail notices or letters, not call. And, the IRS will never email, text, or contact you on social media. If the IRS calls and you think it may be a legitimate call, take a message and call them back at a number listed on the IRS.gov website.

Scammers can be easy to detect. The IRS will never make angry demands for payments, threatening to arrest you for nonpayment, demand that you pay an amount owed without giving you the opportunity to contest or appeal the amount owed first, or require you to pay an outstanding balance due using a specific payment method.

If IRS scammers contact you, you can report them by forwarding their email or information regarding their call to phishing@irs.gov. After forwarding the email, you should delete it. Do not engage scammers, as the longer you talk to them, the more information they will obtain about you.

The Bottom Line

If you have received a letter or notice from the IRS, don’t panic. It’s important you understand what the notice or letter requires and the effect it will have on your taxes. A timely response will help you eliminate stress and move forward.

The tax professionals at Gudorf Tax Group can help you understand the notice or letter you received from the IRS, the effects the letter or notice will have on your tax situation, and your best options for responding. If you have received a letter or notice from the IRS and need help responding, do not delay, schedule an appointment now.