​What To Do If You Get A Letter From the IRS

​What To Do If You Get A Letter From the IRS

08/23/2021 Tags: Announcements, In the News


The Internal Revenue Service sends millions of letters and notifications to taxpayers every year. Not all notices are bad news, but it can be scary to see “IRS” on a piece of mail.

This year, IRS notifications have been on the rise. For example, you might have received a letter about your stimulus payment or the latest changes to the Child Tax Credit. Those types of notifications are in addition to a notice you might have received about a change to your account or a request for more information.

No matter what kind of notification you receive, the following are some tips about the best ways to handle the message.

  • Read it carefully: Most IRS notifications are about federal tax returns or tax accounts. Each notice typically lays out the issue and what you should do. It can be tough to translate the IRS’s highly technical language, so you might need to read the notification a few times. If you’re having difficulty understanding what you’re supposed to do, we can help.
  • Keep it. It can be tempting to throw away an IRS letter, especially if it’s about something you’ve already handled. But the IRS recommends you keep records for three years from the date you filed your tax return.
  • Take a deep breath. It’s true that the IRS and its private collection agencies do mail taxpayers letters. Most of the time, all you have to do is read the letter carefully and follow the notice’s instructions. If an IRS letter has you worried, reach out to us.
  • Don’t reply unless you have to. You usually don’t have to reply to a notice unless it tells you to or you owe the government a payment. You can find payment options and instructions here.
  • Act quickly. A notice may reference changes to your account, taxes owed, a payment request, or a specific issue about a tax return. If you take action quickly, you can save yourself money in interest and penalties.
  • Respond if you don’t agree. If you think the IRS has made a mistake (it happens), mail them a letter explaining why. Send your message to the address on the contact stub that came with the letter the IRS sent you. Make sure to include any details and documents that the IRS will need to look over when they’re reviewing your dispute.
  • Watch out for scams. The IRS doesn’t use social media or text messages when contacting taxpayers. The first message you will receive will probably be a letter. If you’re not sure if you owe the government money, you can review your tax account information on IRS.gov.

If you have questions about a letter or notice you received from the IRS, let us know.

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