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Letter from the IRS: to Worry or Not to Worry

Receiving one of the millions of letters generated each year by the IRS can be a nerve-racking ordeal, however not all correspondence regarding your individual income tax return warrants worry. 

If you happen to be one of those recipients on Uncle Sam’s mailing list, when and how you respond makes a big difference. Consider these tips:

  1. A simple response is often all that’s needed for most types of notices or letters. Unless you’ve been ignoring these letters, an immediate issue usually doesn’t exist, and the inquiry can probably be resolved with communication.
  2. Don’t ignore IRS notices; most letters reference specific federal tax-related issues and include instructions for a resolution.
  3. Make sure you respond timely and definitely by the requested date. Notices may reference changes to your account, a request for payment on taxes owed, additional data regarding your income tax return, or information about a larger refund. A timely reply could minimize interest and/or penalty charges.
  4. If a notice indicates a changed or corrected tax return that you agree with, note the corrections for your records. Unless a payment or reply is specifically requested, no additional action is necessary.
  5. Taxpayers must respond to a notice they don’t agree with. Mail a letter explaining why you disagree to the address on the contact stub at the bottom of the notice. Include information and documents for the IRS to consider and allow at least 30 days for a response.
  6. You don’t need to call the IRS or make an appointment for most notices. If a call seems necessary, use the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Keep a copy of the related tax return and notice on hand for verification purposes when calling.
  7. Always make copies of any notice you receive and store with the relevant tax records.
  8. While the IRS and its authorized collection agency will send letters and notices by mail, they won’t request payment in a specific way. Beware of a notice demanding a certain type of payment; this could be a scam.

For more information on this subject visit: Respond to a Notice.

We hope this information helps relieve some of your stress from IRS notices and letters. Our tax accounting team at Patrick & Robinson CPAs is in the business of reducing tax stress. Contact us at or (904) 396-5400.

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