Should I Panic if I Receive an IRS Notice?

No, absolutely not! Each year, the IRS sends millions of letters and notices to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. Many can be dealt with simply and painlessly. Here are some tips:

  • Notices may request payment of taxes, notify you of changes to your account, or request additional information. The notice will likely cover a specific issue about your account or tax return and provide specific instructions on what you’re asked to do to satisfy the inquiry.
  • If you receive a correction notice, you should review the correspondence and compare it with the information on your return. If you agree with the correction, then usually no reply is necessary unless a payment is due or the notice directs otherwise.
  • If you don’t agree with the correction the IRS made, it is important that you respond as requested. You should send a written explanation of why you disagree and include any documents and information you want the IRS to consider, along with the bottom tear-off portion of the notice. Mail the information to the IRS address shown in the upper left-hand corner of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response.
  • Most correspondence can be handled without calling or visiting an IRS office. However, if you have questions, call the telephone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Have a copy of your tax return and the correspondence available when you call to help them respond to your inquiry.
  • Always keep a copy of the notice (and any correspondence) for your records.
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