Each year, the IRS sends millions of letters to taxpayers for many different reasons. Below are some useful tips for taxpayers on how to handle receiving one of these letters:
- Don't panic. Most letters and notices can be resolved by simply responding.
- Read the entire letter carefully. Most letters deal with a specific issue and provide specific instructions on what to do.
- Contact your CPA. Your CPA can only give you the necessary advice if they are aware of the notice. Send a complete copy of the notice so that they can help you determine the next step.
- Only reply if necessary. There will often times be no need to reply to a letter unless specifically instructed to do so, to make a payment, or if you do not agree with the letter.
- Respond timely. Taxpayers should respond to a letter with which they do not agree. They should mail a letter explaining why they disagree. They should mail their response to the address listed at the bottom of the letter. The taxpayer should include information and documents for the IRS to consider. The taxpayer should allow at least 30 days for a response.
When a specific date is listed in the letter, there are two main reasons taxpayers should respond by that date:
- To minimize additional interest and penalty charges.
- To preserve appeal rights if the taxpayer doesn't agree.
- Don't call. For most letters, there is no need to call the IRS or make an appointment at a taxpayer assistance center. If a call seems necessary, the taxpayer can use the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the letter. They should have a copy of the tax return and letter on hand when calling.
7. Keep the letter. A taxpayer should keep copies of any IRS letters or notices received with their tax records.
If you received a letter from the IRS contact your professional at UHY LLP in one of our many locations.