Now what? IRS Letters and Notices

African American woman standing by a window and frowning at a letter.

Many taxpayers simply ignore any IRS letters and notices they receive. Big mistake. It’s important to open every piece of mail you receive from the IRS and then take the requested action, dispute the content, and (if you owe tax) pay as much as you can by the due date. If you don’t respond by the due date, you can lose your right to appeal.

You may receive IRS letters and notices if:

  • You have a balance due
  • Your refund has changed
  • The IRS has a question about your return
  • The IRS needs to verify your identity
  • Changes or corrections to your return
  • Processing your return is delayed

To get details on IRS letters and notices, search for it by number or topic, using either Google or the Search feature of the IRS website. You can find the CP or LTR number on the right corner of the letter. If the letter doesn’t appear in your search or if it looks suspicious, call 800-829-1040. Follow the IRS representative’s instructions.

What to do if You Get an IRS Letter or Notice

Review it carefully and keep it for your records. If asked to respond, act by the due date. What to do depends on your situation:

  • If you agree with the notice or letter, take any requested action. You don’t need to reply unless specifically asked to do so.
  • If you disagree, follow the instructions in the notice to dispute what it says. Include information and copies of documents for the IRS to review when it considers your dispute.
  • To guarantee your appeal rights, reply by the due date.
  • If you have an amount due, even if you can’t pay the full amount you owe, pay by the due date. This can reduce interest and penalty charges.
  • If the IRS changed or corrected your tax return, compare the information in the notice or letter with your return. If you agree, note the corrections on your personal copy of the tax return and keep it for your records. You only need to take action if you’re asked for more information, if you have a balance due, or if you disagree with the notice.

Paperless Notices

You can get certain notices and letters in your IRS online account.

Accessible Notices and Letters

To get notices in Braille, large print or audio files, complete Form 9000, Alternative Media Preference.

The IRS also has other accessible products and services.

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Gwen Harrison President

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