The IRS sends notices or letters for a variety of reasons; a change to your return, a balance due, or a request for additional information just to name a few. Now that the tax filing deadline has come and gone, we have reached that time of year when the IRS computers start sending out notices/letters to taxpayers.
Rule 1: Do NOT panic.
Rule 2: Respond in a timely fashion.
An important note, the IRS will never initiate contact with a taxpayer via phone call, email, social media, or text message. They always start contact through the mail. That is why it is important that if you receive correspondence from the IRS that you open and read the notice immediately.
These notices explain the reason you are being contacted and what you as the taxpayer need to do to comply with the notice. Often these notices required timely responses; ignoring or failing to comply timely with these notices can lead to penalties and interest being assessed to your account. Timely responses are also important if you disagree with the IRS assessment and plan to appeal their changes. It can also help avoid delays in processing your return.
The IRS handles notice appeals on a first-in basis so a timely response can get you to the front of the line. An appeal can be made by writing a letter in response to the notice or calling the phone number listed on the notice. If contacting the IRS by phone, you should always have available a copy of your return and the notice to refer to during the conversation.
It is important to compare the IRS assessment against what was filed on your original return. If you agree with the changes usually no response is necessary. If an amount is owed to the IRS, pay as much as you can on the balance due. If you are unable to pay the total due by the deadline provided there are payment plan options available at IRS.gov.
If it’s determined that you do owe some money to the IRS the IRS accepts tax payments in several ways. Payment via credit card, over the phone, or through the IRS website, direct debits from your bank account, and payment via check/money order to the address listed on the notice are all acceptable methods of payment.
If you have questions about an IRS notice/letter, make sure to reach out to us – the Hieronymus team is happy to help review the notice, draft an appeal, or take other steps to respond effectively.