I received a letter from the IRS or State, what do I do?

February 16, 2015 By Chad Lambert

IRSA letter from the IRS can fill any of us with dread. Many times however, resolving a notice can be less painful than you might think. Listed below are a few steps to make dealing with this dilemma a little easier.

  • Don’t panic! – Resolving the issue is often a simple matter
  • Read the notice carefully
    • The notice will state the following:
      • Tax period
      • Issue in question
      • Requested information (Supporting documents, forms)
      • Due date of response/payment
  • Is your refund/balance due being adjusted by the IRS?
    • Proposed adjustments and corresponding tax amounts will be listed on the notice.
      • These may be from forms W-2, 1099 or others that were reported to the IRS and not reported on the original return.
    • Occasionally the adjustment will be in the taxpayer’s favor and no response is necessary.
    • Although there may have been items omitted on the original return, the IRS estimate of tax due is often incorrect.
      • An amended tax return may be prepared to correctly record the adjustments and the proper tax due (Normally much lower than the IRS estimate)
  • Specific item clarification
    • Many notices simply request clarification for one or more items that may have been unclear on the tax return.
      • A written response and documentation to support the items in question will normally resolve this type of issue.
  • Keep copies of all notices and responses

Remember, the IRS send letters and notices by mail. They will not contact taxpayers by telephone, email, or social media and request personal and financial information.

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