You received a notice from the IRS. What next? First, don’t panic. You have some time to respond and the IRS could be wrong. Next, call your tax pro. If you’re going to get professional help, here are some suggestions to make the process simpler.
- Read the notice. The IRS has worked to make their notices more readable so the least you can do is to try to read it.
- There is a lot of info in the top right corner of the first page. You will find the notice number (CP2000, CP22a…), the date of the notice, an IRS contact number and your caller id number.
- Using the notice number, go to the IRS website and run a search for that number. This will give you extra information about the notice and what options you have.
- Once you have an idea why you received the notice, you can respond. If the notice is correct, the notice and the online materials will explain how to response (and pay the balance due).
- If you still have questions, call the IRS at the phone number at the top right of the notice. Do be prepared to spend some time on hold. To make things easier, have a copy of the original return and any amended returns you’ve submitted.
- If you disagree with the IRS, it’s your responsibility to prove you are right. And that means documentation. You will need to explain why you disagree and send copies of the anything you have to support your position.
- Don’t procrastinate. The sooner you respond, the faster the issue is resolved; and if you owe, the less you will pay in interest and penalties. But if you need more time, call the IRS and request more time.
- Don’t let your emotions rule. Keep your responses polite and don’t take your frustrations out on the customer service rep that ends up with your call. It’s not their fault you received that notice.
An IRS notice should not send you hiding under the bed. But it shouldn’t be ignored either. Make sure you understand why you received the notice so that you can respond calmly with documentation to back up your position.
Just don’t panic.