What To Do When You Receive an IRS Notice


If you receive a letter from the IRS, do not panic. IRS notices should not strike fear in people’s hearts. Not all of these notices will be about tax audits. Only an estimated 1 percent of filers will get audited.

Usually, these notices pertain to changes in your federal tax return. IRS notices are usually a result of human error and minor mathematical mistakes. Either you owe the IRS money or the IRS owes you money.

As you nervously clutch the notice in your hands, try to calmly open the letter. IRS notices will tell you its purpose and what actions you need to take. Now carefully read and follow the instructions stated on the notice. If the notice states that a correction or edit has been made to your tax return, review it and compare it to your original tax return. If the notice contains all the accurate information, you can disregard the notice unless it requires any further action on your part.

If there are any discrepancies with the notice, it is imperative to quickly contact the IRS. Mail your written reply to the address on the notice, along with any documents you want the IRS to look at and reconsider. You may have to wait at least 30 days for a response. Instead of calling or visiting the IRS office, you can conveniently call the contact number on the notice. When calling, have a copy of your tax return and notice ready. Keep and make copies of original documents and any notices you receive. Do not send original documents.

Be aware of tax scams. The IRS only sends notices via mail. Do not provide personal or financial information through email or social media. If you have any questions or are looking for more information on this topic, visit the Notice section on

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