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08.20.21

I got a letter or notice from the IRS

BY Elena N. O'Leary, CPA

Stay calm! The IRS mails millions of letters and notices every year to taxpayers for various reasons.

The best course of action is to consult your CPA/tax preparer, and send a copy of the letter you received to him or her. DO NOT IGNORE IT! Usually an IRS letter or notice is about your federal tax returns or tax accounts and related discrepancies. Most of the time the matter at issue is minor, but ignoring these letters can create bigger problems.

Always read the letter very carefully as it explains the reason for sending it and also gives instructions on what actions to take. If the IRS changes a tax return, the taxpayer needs to compare information provided in the notice or letter with the information in their original tax return.

If the taxpayer agrees with the notice, there is no need to contact the IRS. If it results in a balance due, make sure to pay it by the due date. Even if you cannot pay it in full, pay as much as you can to minimize additional interest and penalty charges.

If the notice or letter requires a response by a specific date, make sure you comply to minimize any additional charges and to preserve your appeal rights if you don’t agree.

It is important to keep a copy of the notice or letter with your tax records. You may need these documents later.

Be aware that the IRS issued several alerts about the fraudulent use of the IRS name and logo by scammers contacting taxpayers and demanding money. The IRS never contacts a taxpayer using social media, email, or text message. The first contact from the IRS usually comes in the mail. Taxpayers who are unsure if they owe money to the IRS can view their tax account information on IRS.gov.

Tags: Income Tax

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Elena N. O’Leary, CPA

Professional Specialist

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