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Wondering what to do with a letter from the IRS?

Tax Tip Tuesday Financial Blog Post

If you are among the taxpayers that will receive a letter from the IRS this summer, remember DON’T panic. Remember that you have rights as a taxpayer, which you can find listed in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Additionally, there are some things you can do when the letter arrives. 

The first thing to know is that the Taxpayer Bill of Rights dictates that letters from the IRS must include:

Details about taxes, interest, and penalties if you owe the IRS.

An explanation for the amount of taxes owed.

Specific reasons as to why your refund claim has been denied by the IRS.

Then remember to do these things:

• Read the entire letter carefully. Most letters provide specific instructions on what to do to take care of the issue the IRS found with your return.

• Compare it with your tax return. If the letter indicates a changed or corrected tax return, review the information and compare it with your original return.

• Respond if necessary. If you disagree with what the letter says to explain why. Make sure to send your response to the address listed at the bottom of the letter. And be sure to include any necessary information and documents for the IRS to consider. Always allow at least 30 days for a response.

• Reply timely if necessary. If you agrees with the letter, there may be no need to contact the IRS. However, if they issue a specific date to respond in the letter, so in order to minimize additional interest and penalty charges. Additionally, if there is something you may not agree with later it will help keep your appeal rights alive if the taxpayer doesn’t agree.

• Pay. ALWAYS PAY as much as you can, even if you can’t pay the full amount owed. The IRS offers options. Apply for an Online Payment Agreement or Offer in Compromise.

• Contact the IRS if necessary. For most letters, there’s no need to call or make an appointment at a taxpayer assistance center. However, if a call seems necessary, you can find the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the letter. Have a copy of the tax return and letter on handy when calling.

• Keep the letter. ALWAYS keep copies of any correspondence with IRS along with your tax records.


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