Did You Get a Letter in the Mail from the IRS? Here is What You Need to Do

IRS NOTICE OF PROPOSED CHANGEEach year, the IRS mails millions of notices and letters to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. This can be extremely upsetting when receiving this form of communication, whether it is from the IRS or any other taxing authority.  The following tips are presented to reduce your anxiety and to provide a specific action plan for any correspondence received from the IRS (or from your state or local taxing authority):

  • Don’t Panic: You can usually deal with a notice simply by responding to it. You should immediately contact your tax attorney, CPA or tax adviser to discuss this matter in more detail.
    • Tip: Waiting can only compound and complicate your tax problems.
  • Most IRS notices are about federal tax returns or tax accounts: Each notice has specific instructions, so read your notice carefully because it will tell you what you need to do.  Follow the instructions very carefully.  The goal here is to give a specific and detailed response to the tax issue in question.
    • Tip: Only respond to the particular issue and do not provide or discuss issues that are not being raised by the IRS.
  • Taxes You Owe or Payment Request:  Your notice will likely be about changes to your account, taxes you owe or a payment request. However, your notice may ask you for more information about a specific issue.
    • Tip: Do not assume that the taxes owed are correct. In many cases, the IRS calculates taxes without all the relevant facts.

  • Review: If your notice says that the IRS changed or corrected your tax return, review the information and compare it with your original return.
    • Tip: Once again, just because the IRS says you owe taxes does not mean that they are correct. Contact your tax attorney, tax accountant or tax adviser immediately.
  • If You Agree: If you agree with the notice, you usually don’t need to reply unless it gives you other instructions or you need to make a payment. If you choose not to respond to the IRS be sure you understand the IRS letter and its implications, because the next step from them is usually an assessment of additional taxes.
  • If You Do Not Agree: If you don’t agree with the notice, you need to respond within the time limit set out in the notice. Write a letter that explains why you disagree, and include information and documents you want the IRS to consider. Mail your response with the contact stub at the bottom of the notice to the address on the contact stub. Allow at least 30 days for a response from the IRS.
    • Tip: It is usually prudent to have your tax attorney, CPA or tax adviser craft a well-conceived response that is supported with references to the relevant facts of your situation and the tax law in question.
  • How To Contact The IRS: For most notices, you won’t need to call or visit a walk-in center. If you have questions, call the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Be sure to have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call.
    • Tip:  Be careful when talking with the IRS; they are not your friend.  Only speak to the specific issues in question.
  • Keep All Notices, Letters and Correspondence: Always keep copies of any notices you receive with your tax records.
    • Tip: If things get complicated, you want to have a full record of correspondence to present to a tax attorney or tax adviser. So by all means do not throw anything away while this tax matter is still in dispute.

I hope this article has been of value to my readers.  If you do not want to miss future tax and estate alerts simply complete FREE TAX AND ESTATE UPDATES: JUST ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS found at the upper right hand column of this website. Your email will only be used to send you notice of new tax and estate articles and will not be used for any other purpose and it will not be shared with any other parties.

Copyright © 2016 – Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C., 1420 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19102. All rights reserved.

Disclosure and Disclaimer:  This article has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm’s full disclaimer.


8 responses to “Did You Get a Letter in the Mail from the IRS? Here is What You Need to Do

  1. Thanks for sharing such a great blog. I find this on google that is very informative for me.
    Chartered accountant in India


  2. Great Post Again.
    To be honest, I am following each and every point you mentioned in the article. Thanks for sharing…Very helful article…


  3. Excellent article, very well written and too the point!


  4. Frank Baldino


    Good post!!

    Please change my email address to: fbaldino@brinkersimpson.com

    Thank you.



    • Thanks Frank. Hope you are doing well. My wordpress account does not give me access to change emails. The easiest thing to do is to just add in your new email address at the FREE TAX AND ESTATE UPDATES: JUST ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS found at the upper right hand column of this website. This should only take a second to do.


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