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What Should You Do if You Receive a Letter or Notice from the IRS?

News, Offshore Account Update

Posted in on September 16, 2022

When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends a letter or notice to a taxpayer, there is usually a specific reason why. While some of these are purely notices—informing taxpayers that the IRS has received a communication or verified certain information—others can have far more significant implications.

Recently, the IRS published a Tax Tip discussing the steps taxpayers should take after receiving a letter or notice in the mail. Here are some of the highlights, along with some of our own tips for handling IRS scrutiny:

The IRS’ Tips for Responding to a Letter or Notice

“Getting mail from the IRS is not a cause for panic but it should not be ignored either.” This is one of the main things the IRS wants taxpayers to know. Upon receiving a letter or notice in the mail, the IRS advises that taxpayers should:

  • Read It Carefully – The IRS sends letters and notices for a variety of different reasons. Taxpayers who receive correspondence from the IRS should read it carefully and make sure they understand what the IRS is saying and why.
  • Take Any Requested Action – If the letter or notice requests the submission of additional information or payment, the IRS advises that the recipient should take the requested action. However, as discussed below, taxpayers should not rely blindly on the IRS’ determinations but instead, make their own informed decisions.
  • Only Respond If a Response is Requested – If a taxpayer takes the action requested in an IRS letter or notice (or disputes the requested action), the taxpayer generally does not need to submit a separate response to the correspondence itself. The only exception is if the correspondence specifically requests a response by mail or phone.
  • Dispute the Letter or Notice if Warranted – If a taxpayer believes the IRS’s requested action is unwarranted, the taxpayer “should mail a letter explaining why they dispute the notice” to the IRS. The taxpayer’s mailing should include all necessary supporting documentation.
  • Keep Copies of All Communications – The IRS advises keeping copies of all communications received from or sent to revenue agents or investigators. The IRS also recommends making note of any corrections on taxpayers’ personal copies of their returns.

Our Additional Tips for Dealing with the IRS

While the IRS’ tips make sense for most routine forms of correspondence, taxpayers must be careful when facing exposure to liability for additional taxes, interest or penalties. For example, if a letter indicates that the IRS is conducting an audit, this requires much more than a general acknowledgment or response. When facing IRS scrutiny, taxpayers in Maryland need to make informed decisions, and to do so, they should rely on the advice of an experienced tax attorney.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Tax Attorney Kevin E. Thorn

Have you received a letter or notice from the IRS? If so, we encourage you to contact us for more information. To schedule a confidential consultation with tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, please call 240-235-5096, email ket@thornlawgroup.com or contact us confidentially online today.

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