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Got an IRS Notice? How to Respond…

April 30, 2015

So you just got an IRS notice.  The tax season is over, you got your tax return filed but you’re being notified that something’s amiss. What do you do?

Don’t Panic!

For starters, don’t panic. The IRS mails millions of notices and letters to Taxpayers each year for a variety of reasons. IRS letters typically are about your federal tax return or account and are usually about a specific issue, such as a change to your account. It may ask you for more information or might explain that you owe tax and that you need to pay the amount that is due.

Whatever the reason for the letter, it’ll be very specific and will tell you exactly what you need to do.

For instance, the IRS notice might state that the IRS has made a change or correction to your tax return. If it does, compare it to your original return. If you agree with the notice, you usually don’t even need to reply unless it gives you other instructions or you need to make a payment.

What if You Don’t Agree?

If you don’t agree, you need to respond. Your response should explain exactly why you disagree. Include any information and documents that you think bolsters your position. Mail your reply with the bottom tear-off portion of the IRS notice and send it back to the address listed in the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response but, in these days of IRS personnel layoffs, be prepared to wait even longer for a substantive response.

I always say that if you don’t agree, you need to respond, in writing, and be very careful to respond within the time limits referenced in the IRS letter. If it looks like you might be in over your head, consider contacting a tax professional immediately.

Is it a Tax Scam?

Lastly, be alert for tax scams. Tax scams are rampant these days, and both identity theft and refund theft are on the rise. The IRS only sends letters and notices by mail. It doesn’t contact people by email or social media to ask for personal or financial information so be very careful if that’s how you were contacted.

When in doubt, contact the experienced New York tax attorneys at Mackay, Caswell & Callahan, P.C. today. With over 30 years’ of tax experience and offices throughout New York State, we can offer experienced tax help.

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