What is an IRS Notice?

An IRS notice is an official letter from the IRS to a taxpayer. There are several reasons why you may receive a letter from the IRS. It could be that you missed a deadline or incorrectly filed your tax returns.

What To Do When You Receive A Notice

The first and most important thing you should do: do not panic. Most of the time, these letters only require the taxpayer to read the directions and perform a simple action.

Verify the Notice 

The next thing you should do is verify that it is indeed from the IRS and not a scam agency.

An authentic IRS notice will have your tax ID number and the tax year(s) in question noted on the page. When you search for your notice or letter using the IRS Notices & Letters Search and nothing comes up, or you believe the notice or letter looks suspicious, contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Should you determine the notice or letter is fraudulent, please visit the IRS Report Phishing page for the appropriate course of action.

Common Information Contained in A Notice 

If you have never received a notice from the IRS before, here is what it typically tells you:

  • You have a balance due.
  • You are due a larger or smaller refund.
  • The IRS has a question about your tax return.
  • The IRS needs to verify your identity.
  • The IRS requires additional information.
  • The IRS changed your return.
  • The IRS has to notify you of delays in processing your return.

Types of IRS Notices

One can organize the types of notices you can receive from the IRS into three main categories.

Informational Notices

These notices usually do not require you to take action or reply, as they are mainly in response to a specific tax credit you claimed or any other specialized action you took with the IRS.

Tax Return/Account Change Notices

Usually, the IRS sends these notices if there was an error on your tax return or if they made a change to your account.

Common occurrences observed and reported on these notices include the following:

  • A mistake made on a return.
  • Holes/gaps in your income.
  • The IRS has issued an audit on your account or has already audited and requests that you make changes.

Back Tax Notices

This notice is very straightforward: you have a balance owed on your account, and it gives you the due date and your payment options.

Disagreeing with an IRS Notice

If, after thoroughly reading the notice, you find that you agree with the content, you usually won’t need to reply – unless it gives you specific instructions or you need to make a payment.

If you disagree with the content of the notice, you must respond. Note, disagree means that you believe the IRS has made a mistake or that you want to challenge their statement.

Write a letter explaining why you disagree and include any pertinent information and documents. Mail your reply with the bottom tear-off portion of the notice. Send the letter to the address shown in the upper left-hand corner of the notice, and give the IRS thirty days to respond.

Keep Copies 

Be sure to keep all copies of notices you receive with your other tax records. Should you have to call the IRS, have the notice handy.

When To Reach Out For Professional Help

With any of these notices, but especially when dealing with a back-tax notice, it is best to reach out to a tax professional. Most notices you can resolve with the appropriate guidance – guidance our Certified Tax Experts would be more than glad to give you.

Our resolution officers, CPAs, and tax attorneys can help you with any problem you may be facing. If you have unpaid back taxes, call one of our experts at 833-419-RISE(7473). They can guide you through our process and get you financially stable again.

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