Nine Steps if you receive a Notice from the IRS

07-13-2015Tax Information

Opening the mail and seeing a notice from the Internal Revenue Service generally raises our blood pressure.  Here are some tips of how to address and resolve any issues when you receive a notice.

  1. Watch out for Scams - The IRS only will initially notify you by mail – not phone or email.  The IRS does not contact people via email, text or social media. 
  2. Don’t Ignore It. You can respond to most IRS notices quickly and easily. It is important that you reply right away.
  3. Focus on the Issue. IRS notices usually deal with a specific issue about your tax return or tax account.  Understand the reason for the notice.
  1. Follow Instructions. Read the notice carefully.  It will tell you if you need to take any action to resolve the matter.
  2. Notify Our Office.  We often get copies of notices the IRS sends our office with a Power of Attorney.  We can translate much of the IRS notice language into common language.
  3. Correction Notice. If the IRS corrected your tax return, you should review the information provided and compare it to your tax return.
    1. If you agree, you don’t need to reply unless a payment is due.
    2. If you don’t agree, respond to the IRS with a letter that explains why you don’t agree. Include information and any documents you want the IRS to consider.  Include the bottom tear-off portion of the notice with your letter and mail your reply to the IRS at the address shown in the lower left part of the notice.  The IRS says allow at least 30 days for a response.  I have been experiencing closer to 45 days lately.  Consider sending it via a traceable method of delivery.
  4. Premium Tax Credit. The IRS may send you a letter asking you to clarify or verify your premium tax credit information.  The letter may ask for a copy of your Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement.  Follow the instructions on the letter to help the IRS verify information and issue the appropriate refund.
  5. Don’t visit an IRS office.  You can handle most notices without calling or visiting the IRS.  If you do have questions, call the phone number in the upper right corner of the notice.  Unfortunately, current phone wait times are 60+ minutes.  Have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call.
  6. Keep the Notice. Keep a copy of the notice you get from the IRS with your tax records.