How to respond to an IRS notice

Posted on May 20, 2011

Letter writing may be a dying art, but official correspondence still arrives in the daily mail -including notices from the Internal Revenue Service.

If you receive one, here’s what to do.

* Scan the heading. The first line, generally printed in bold type and centered beneath your name and address, will tell you why the IRS is contacting you. For instance, the notice might be informational, such as an explanation that your payroll tax deposit and reporting responsibilities have changed. In that case, you simply need to comply with the new requirements.

Questions about missing information, additional taxes owed, or payments due mean you’ll want to take prompt action to avoid more notices or assessments of interest and penalties.

* Review the discrepancy. You’ll find the tax form and the year to which the notice applies printed in the upper right corner. Pull out your copy of the corresponding tax return, along with the supporting documents, and compare what you filed with what the IRS is questioning.

* Prepare your explanation. Are the proposed changes correct? Did the IRS misapply a payment? Whatever the issue, there’s usually no need to file an amended return. However, the IRS typically wants a response, either by phone or mail, in order to clear the notice from your account.

* Do not delay. Ignoring IRS correspondence will not make it go away. Reply to the IRS in a timely manner even if you don’t have all the information they are requesting.

Please contact us as soon as you receive a notice from the IRS or state or local taxing authorities. We’re here to set your mind at ease by answering your questions and helping you resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

Share