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Did the IRS Send You a Letter? Do Not Freak Out! Here Are 8 Things You Should Know.

Get a letter from the IRS?  Don’t just pay it!  Let me or another qualifed professional take a look.

The IRS sends millions of letters and notices to taxpayers for a variety of reasons every year.  I know it can be downright frightening to receive one of those, but the fact is that many of these letters and notices can be dealt with simply and quickly, without having to call or visit an IRS office.  I prepare responses to these letters all the time, so I guess I’ve become immune to the “hoopla” of it all, but the real key is just not to panic.  9 out of 10 IRS letters that I’ve reviewed have some sort of error in it that just needs to be explained in a reply letter.  For example, I helped 2 different clients with IRS letters last week.  For one of them I was able to reduce the bill from $2975 to $375, and for the we turned a $1275 bill into a $5 refund!  So the key here is don’t freak out!

Here are eight things you should know about IRS notices and letters.

1. There are a number of reasons why the IRS might send you a notice. Notices may request payment, notify you of account changes, or request additional information. A notice normally covers a very specific issue about your account or tax return.

2. Each letter and notice offers specific instructions on what action you need to take.

3. If you receive a correction notice, you should review the correspondence and compare it with the information on your return.

4. If you agree with the correction to your account, then usually no reply is necessary unless a payment is due or the notice directs otherwise.

5. If you do not agree with the correction the IRS made, it is important to respond as requested. You should send a written explanation of why you disagree and include any documents and information you want the IRS to consider along with the bottom tear-off portion of the notice. Mail the information to the IRS address shown in the upper left of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response.

6. Most correspondence can be handled without calling or visiting an IRS office. However, if you have questions, call the telephone number in the upper right of the notice. Have a copy of your tax return and the correspondence available when you call to help the IRS respond to your inquiry.

7. It’s important to keep copies of any correspondence with your records.

8. IRS notices and letters are sent by mail. The IRS does not correspond by email about taxpayer accounts or tax returns.  Do not reply to any emails claiming to be from the IRS.

If you have received a letter or notice form the IRS and have questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call us at 203-767-7197.

Robert A. Gambardella, CPA CTC is the Principal at Concierge Tax Services, LLC in Shelton, CT.   Visit his website for more information at

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