4 Tips if You Received a Tax Notice

Tax Planning

It’s typical for the IRS to send out tax notices to taxpayers if any tax adjustments are necessary or if the IRS requires more information.  If you receive one of these notices in the mail don’t worry.

Hispanic Woman Checking MailboxHere are 4 tips to help you:

1.  Don’t panic – After your imagination runs wild, focus yourself with several deep, deep breaths, and begin reading.  Whatever you imagined, it probably isn’t that bad. If you receive an IRS notice, it will typically cover a very specific issue about your account or tax return.

Notices may require payment, notify you of changes to your account or ask you to provide more information. Many of these letters require a simple response, and offer specific instructions on what you need to do to satisfy the inquiry.

2.  Review your tax return – If the IRS notifies you it has corrected your tax return, don’t just assume the adjustment is  correct. Review the notice to see what adjustments were made. Did you forget to include interest from one of your savings accounts? Did they disallow a dependency exemption because your child’s social security number was transposed?  If you determine that the IRS was correct in making the adjustment, then you don’t have to reply unless a payment is due or the notice directs otherwise.

If you don’t agree, you’ll need to send them a written explanation and documents that support your position. Mail your reply with the bottom tear-off portion of the IRS letter to the address shown in the upper left-hand corner of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response.  Remember, the IRS sends correspondence through the mail so do not send information via email or click links in emails pretending to be from the IRS.

3.  Call the IRS if you need to – Though most of your dealings with the IRS can be done by mail, some questions may arise for which you want to talk to an agent. If so, call the telephone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Be sure you have your tax return and the notice handy, so that you can provide information that will help the IRS answer your inquiry and resolve the issues.

4.  Download TurboTax Audit Support Center – If you used TurboTax to prepare your tax return, you can also download TurboTax Audit Support Center for free to help you figure out what type of letter you received and what to do with it.

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