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What You Need to Know if You Get a Letter in the Mail from the IRS

Each year, the IRS mails millions of notices and letters to taxpayers for a variety of reasons, but refer to federal tax returns or tax accounts. If you receive correspondence from the IRS:

  1. Don't panic. You can usually deal with a notice simply by responding to it.
  2. Read your notice carefully. It will provide you with specific instructions that tell you what you need to do.
  3. Be prepared to collect/supply additional information. Though many notices refer to changes to your account, taxes you owe or a payment request, some may note the need for more information about a specific issue.
  4. For cases related to a changed or corrected your tax return, review the information and compare it with your original return.
  5. You generally do not need to reply to a notice unless you find an error or there special instructions or a request for a payment.
  6. You WILL need to respond if you do not agree with the notice. To do this, write a letter explaining why you disagree and include information and documents you want the IRS to consider. Mail your response with the contact stub at the bottom of the notice to the address on the contact stub. Allow at least 30 days for a response.
  7. If you have questions, call the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Be sure to have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call. Though some notices may require an in-person/phone meeting, you typically won't need to visit the IRS.
  8. Always keep copies of any notices you receive with your tax records.
  9. Be alert for tax scams. The IRS sends letters and notices by mail. The IRS does not contact people by email or social media to ask for personal or financial information. If you owe tax, you have several payment options. The IRS won't demand that you pay a certain way, such as prepaid debit or credit card.

To learn more about Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP,
visit www.st-cpas.com.

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