Ah…the feeling of relief knowing tax season has ended is second to none. Except, of course, having received a refund. A lot of us out there have already received our refunds and used them toward paying down debt, padding college funds for our children, and late-night shopping binges on Amazon (saving money on free shipping, of course). So when you open the mailbox only to find a letter from the IRS, it can make your stomach drop and the world go black and fuzzy around the edges. What could the IRS possibly want with YOU? If you receive a letter from the IRS, don’t panic. First, open it. Then panic. OK, I’m actually kidding–don’t actually panic. The IRS sends millions of letters to taxpayers every year for a variety of reasons.
What Does Your Letter from the IRS Tell You?
When the IRS sends you a notification in the mail, the best thing to do is read it in its entirety. Sounds pretty simple and straightforward, right? You’d be surprised how many people go straight into panic mode because they don’t read the letter in its entirety. The information contained in the letter will let you know why they are contacting you and what you need to do to respond. Whatever you do, don’t simply ignore the letter. Ignoring correspondence from the IRS will not make them go away. And unfortunately, there’s no way to unsubscribe from their mailing list. Most letters from the IRS are regarding changes to your account, taxes you owe, or a payment request. Occasionally, there will be a request for more information.
What to do if the IRS Made Changes or Corrections to Your Return
First and foremost, review the information and identify the changes made by the IRS by comparing it to your original return. If you agree with the changes, you typically don’t need to reply unless the letter states otherwise or you need to submit an additional payment. If you do NOT agree with the changes, you HAVE to respond. Write a letter describing why you disagree with the changes, and include any documentation to support your case. The contact information and mailing address will be included in the original correspondence from the IRS. For additional information on responding to a notice, click here.
Be Aware of Tax Scams
Scammers are always looking for ways to try to steal your money, and claiming to be the Tax Man is one of the ways criminals can try to take advantage of you. The IRS will always send notices by mail, and will never attempt to contact you via email, social media, or by phone. They will also never ask for financial or personal information. If you receive anything in the mail or via email or social media that is suspect, you can always contact the IRS directly. For more details on some of the tax scams that are common, check out our post on the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams.
Of course, we are always here to help assist you with any communications from the IRS. Clients can call or email with any questions or concerns regarding letters from the IRS for continued support–even AFTER the end of tax season. Because we’re just awesome like that 🙂