What Should I Do If I Received a Letter from the IRS?

Receive IRS Letter

For most people, receiving a letter from the IRS seems like a nightmare. Receiving a letter from the IRS does not mean for certain that you are in trouble; for example, if your refund check is enclosed in the letter, you will more than likely be happy and relieved. However, anytime the IRS contacts you, there is a good possibility that something may be wrong, particularly if you are not expecting any money back from your tax return.

Why Am I Receiving a Letter from the IRS?

The IRS sends out millions of letters to taxpayers each year for a variety of reasons, including: requesting additional information, notice of an account change, payment request, audit notification, etc. In most cases, a letter from the IRS will be focused on a specific issue that requires immediate action. Any letter that you receive from the IRS will include information on what to do next.

What Should I Do About the IRS Letter that I Received?

Some IRS letters represent serious issues and require complex processes to resolve, while others are simple enough to be dealt with in a quick and easy manner. You will need to open and read the letter to determine the type of situation you’re dealing with. The sooner you take this first step, the better.

If you had been anticipating a tax refund but receive a letter from the IRS that has no refund check enclosed, you should follow the accompanying directions carefully and without delay.

All letters that you receive from the IRS should be kept in a safe place. It is very important to have a record of all tax-related correspondence.

Who Can I Talk to About this Letter from the IRS?

Receiving a letter from the IRS does not require you to visit a local IRS office or call an IRS representative on the phone; most issues can be taken care of by mail. Of course, if you have any confusion over what is going on or what you are being asked for, you should call the number that has been provided, typically located in the upper right-hand corner of the letter.

You can also find more information about IRS Letters and what to do with each IRS letter here.

FAQ-Related Topics and Help

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You will receive an IRS assessment letter when you owe the IRS money. Here is what each assessment letter means and details on what letter you will receive next if no actions are taken.

What If I Can’t Pay the IRS in Full?

If you receive a letter saying you owe taxes and don’t have enough to pay be sure not to ignore the letter. Here are some details on what your options are if you can’t pay the bill in full.

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Receiving a letter about taxes owed is likely the start of the tax collection process. Understand how this process works and actions you can take to stop it.