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What to do If You Receive Mail from the IRS

November 02, 2021

Did you receive a letter from the IRS? Here are some common dos and don’ts you should follow.

If you receive mail from the IRS, don’t be alarmed--it’s typically regarding a specific issue with your federal tax return or tax account. Amid the pandemic, many taxpayers have also received mail regarding Economic Impact Payments or Advance Child Tax Credit Payments. Here’s what you should and should not do when you receive correspondence from Uncle Sam.

9 Dos and Don’ts

  1. DON’T panic. Letters from the IRS are not an indication that you are “in trouble”. The majority of letters are either informational or require a simple action on the part of the taxpayer.
  2. DON’T throw it away. Hold on to notices and letters from the IRS with your other tax records. As a general rule of thumb, the IRS suggests retaining adjustment notices, EIP notices, letters about advance child tax credit payments for at least three years.
  3. DON’T ignore it. Sometimes IRS notices include specific instructions to resolve issues—most times it’s a simple fix.
  4. DON’T reply unless instructed to. Unless specifically instructed to do so, you generally do not need to reply to an IRS notice. If you owe a payment, visit the IRS’ Payment Options page.
  5. DO review the information. Reviewing the information is crucial—let’s say you receive a letter about a changed or corrected tax return. Make sure you compare it with the original return. Make notes about the corrections and keep them for your records.
  6. DO avoid scams. Check out our blog, IRS Announces Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2021 for a complete list of scams that you should watch out for.
  7. DO take timely action. Minimize additional interest and penalty charges by acting timely on any payment requests, or changes you need to make on your account.
  8. DO remember there is usually no need to call the IRS. If you need to contact the IRS, use the number located in the upper right corner of the notice. Have a copy of the letter and your most recent tax return when calling.
  9. DO respond to a disputed notice. If you don’t agree with something in a notice, send a letter to the address on the contact stub. Include info and documents the IRS can review when considering the disputed notice.

Questions on a letter you’ve received? We can help, reach out to our team.

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