Receive a Notice from the IRS? Don’t Ignore It!

While many of us panic to see a piece of mail from the IRS, it isn’t always bad news.  So, please do yourself a favor and read the notice; don’t panic. 

The IRS may send you a letter or notice if you have a balance due, if there is an adjustment in the amount of a refund, if there is a question about your return, if your identity needs to be verified, if the IRS changed your return, or if there is a need for additional information. 

If you do receive a notice, read it carefully and address the action you are requested to take, if any. 

When responding, there is usually a second copy of the notice or a voucher which should be included in your response to enable the IRS to properly match up.  This is especially important if you are remitting a check.  Remember, payment to many taxing authorities, including the IRS, can be made on line.  If you have received a bill, but cannot pay the full amount, contact the IRS to make payment arrangements.  They WILL work with you.

Perhaps you have been given a phone number to call.  If calling, make certain you have a copy of the return in question handy so that you can reference the same during the call.    

Respond timely and keep copies of everything. 

Finally, remember that the IRS will not contact you using social media or text messages.  Your first contact will be via letter/notice.  If you are ever uncertain as to the validity of notification from the IRS, regardless of the method, call them.  Once you have provided information as to your identity, they can assist in responding to the notification you received. 


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About the Author

Kay Sowa is a paralegal in the Trusts and Estates Group at Capehart & Scatchard, P.A. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent, an Accredited Estate Planner®, and a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor. She oversees the trust and estate administration practice for the firm. She is an accomplished author and lecturer who has frequently spoken on behalf of a number of organizations including the National Business Institute and the Institute of Paralegal Education.

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