The IRS mails millions of letters to taxpayers every year for many reasons. Here are seven simple suggestions on how individuals can handle a letter or notice from the IRS:
- Don’t panic. Simply responding will take care of most IRS letters and notices.
- Read the entire letter carefully. Most letters deal with a specific issue and provide specific instructions on what to do.
- Compare it with the tax return. If a letter indicates a changed or corrected tax return, the taxpayer should review the information and compare it with their original return.
- Only reply if necessary. There is usually no need to reply to a letter unless specifically instructed to do so, or to make a payment.
- Respond timely. Taxpayers should respond to a letter with which they do not agree. They should mail a letter explaining why they disagree. They should mail their response to the address listed at the bottom of the letter. The taxpayer should include information and documents for the IRS to consider. The taxpayer should allow at least 30 days for a response.
When a specific date is listed in the letter, there are two main reasons taxpayers should respond by that date:
- To minimize additional interest and penalty charges.
- To preserve appeal rights if the taxpayers doesn’t agree.
Additional IRS Resources: