The IRS issued its latest “Tax Tip” today, on the heels of tax season. The first line of the tip is really good advice: When an IRS letter arrives, taxpayers don’t need to panic, but they do need to read it.
For those who don’t want to click through, here’s a brief rundown of what TO do:
- Read the letter carefully. It may just be a notice, but it may require prompt action.
- Review the information. Compare what IRS provides with what you have on your personal records. Note any differences on your documents.
- Take any requested action, including making a payment. Do it. Don’t get sideways with Uncle Sam (HM Law’s advice, though it’s heavily implied by the IRS).
- Reply only if instructed to do so. If you’re going to call, use the number in the top right corner of the notice, and have your tax return(s) and letter on hand.
- Let the IRS know of a disputed notice. The letter/notice should have instructions for how to properly dispute what the notice indicates. Follow the rules.
- Keep the letter or notice for your records. 3 years is the recommended time to keep these types of correspondence.
- Watch for scams. The IRS uses formal correspondence, first through mail. It will never contact you by social media or text. You can also review your tax transcript on IRS.gov.
Simple, right? Not exactly, but at least it’s a roadmap.
And be ever vigilant for scams. When looking at notices, pay close attention to grammar and spelling. Typos and odd syntax are often a clue that the correspondence is a scam. Additionally, know that you won’t be sending the IRS any emails in response. And it may not hurt to check out the phone number on the letter online to see if IRS.gov reports it as one of their numbers.
Remember, don’t ignore the IRS. Doing so could be very costly.
If you’d like to talk taxes with a OSBA Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, feel free to reach out. Let’s Talk!