Nobody likes getting mail from the Internal Revenue Service unless, of course, it is a check. But do not panic – the news is not always bad!
There are many reasons why the IRS might send you a notice, ranging from a request for payment, a notification of a change in your account, or simply a request for information. If you are being notified of a change, the simplest way to handle it is to compare the IRS change with your tax return as submitted. If you agree with the change, you usually do not have to respond to the notice unless you have to make a payment. If, however, you disagree with change, do not ignore the notice! Write to the address provided in the upper left-hand corner of the notice with an explanation as to why you disagree and include any supporting documentation. It might take as long as 30 days for the IRS to answer your letter. Keep copies of all correspondence with the IRS, including copies of any attachments you might have provided.
Sometimes, an IRS notice informs you that you will be getting more of a refund than you expected. It will automatically be sent to you unless you owe other debts that the IRS is obligated to collect, such as other taxes, child support, or student loans.
If the notice tells you that owe taxes but you are sure that you have made the required payment, send the IRS proof of payment. If your payment was made by check, do not send the original check, but send a copy of both the front and back of the cancelled check. If you paid with a money order, you should be able to get a copy of both sides of the cancelled money order from the location where it was purchased.
The good news is that most correspondence from the IRS can be handled without calling or visiting an IRS office. However, the IRS does provide a telephone number where you can ask questions about your notice. In order to get the most information from an IRS representative on the telephone, you should have the notice, your tax return, and any other pertinent documentation in hand when you make the call.