Individuals who receive a notice or letter from the IRS should not panic. Optima Tax Relief provides helpful tips on what they should do when they receive a letter from the IRS.
The IRS mails letters or notices to taxpayers for a variety of reasons including if:
- They have a balance due.
- They are due a larger or smaller refund.
- The agency has a question about their tax return.
- They need to verify identity.
- The agency needs additional information.
- The agency changed its tax return.
Here is what a taxpayer should do if they receive a notice from the IRS in the mail:
- Do not ignore any IRS correspondence. For the most part, IRS letters and notices are about tax returns or tax accounts. The notice or letter will also provide an explanation as to why it was sent out, instructions on what to do and a number to contact.
- Do not panic. The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will typically contact an individual by mail. Most of the time, taxpayers will just need to read the notice and follow the instructions provided.
- Respond in a timely manner. A notice or letter may require a response by a specific date. Replying by the requested date allows a taxpayer to:
- minimize additional interest and penalty charges.
- preserve their appeal rights if they do not agree.
- Pay the amount due. Taxpayers should try to pay as much as can, even if it is not the full amount. Individuals have the option to pay online or apply for an online payment agreement on the IRS website.
- Keep a copy of the notice or letter that you received. Keep a copy of all notices or letters with other tax records. Taxpayers may need these documents in the future.
- Remember there is usually no need to call the IRS. If a taxpayer must contact the IRS by phone, they should use the number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Taxpayers only need to contact the agency if they do not agree with the information, if the IRS requests additional information, or if the taxpayer has a balance due. Taxpayers can also write to the agency at the address on the notice or letter.