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I Got An IRS Notice!! What Do I Do?

It’s a moment every person dreads. You pick up the mail and there is an envelope from the IRS and it’s NOT a refund check. It’s an IRS Notice….What do you do?

Well first, DON’T PANIC…

Each year, the IRS sends out millions of “correspondence audits” to taxpayers to request payment of taxes, notify them of a change to their account or request additional information. These audits normally cover a very specific issue, often notifying you of additional small amounts of income for which you owe tax. Sometimes they just ask for clarification of something you reported on your tax return.

Each letter provides specific instructions explaining what you should do to satisfy the inquiry. And most correspondence can be handled without calling or visiting the IRS. You simply follow the instructions in the letter and the matter is put to rest.

Many times, however, the IRS has incorrect information in their files and they try to assess you additional tax, penalties and interest. If this is the case, and you disagree with their findings, you can contact them to contest the matter. You can do this by simply calling the telephone number indicated on the letter or you can write an explanation as to why you disagree.

One thing to make sure you do, however, is to include copies of any supporting documentation you want considered by the IRS. This is important if you disagree with their findings.

Don’t be alarmed if it takes them a while to get back to you once you respond. Typically, it will take the IRS between one and two months to review your response and get back to you. During the first quarter of the year when they process a high volume of tax returns, it can take two to three months.

Additionally, be sure to keep copies of any correspondence you have with the IRS. There are numerous instances where they have lost track of actions involving a taxpayer’s account. We see this all the time with our clients. If you have copies and documentation of everything you have sent them and when, most issues can be resolved pretty quickly.

Finally, if you happen to be lucky enough to get chosen for a full blown audit, or if you just don’t feel comfortable responding to a Notice on your own, seek the advice of a professional. This could be a CPA or an attorney, but just make sure you speak with someone who has dealt with these matters in the past and is able to represent you before the IRS. It can save you time, money and quite a bit of frustration.

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