Understanding Your Irs Notice Or Letter


Use the envelope enclosed with your letter to send the information back to us. The letter explains the issues involved and outlines the types of information you need to send to us.

What month does the IRS send out audit letters?

For many taxpayers, this date is April 15. As an example, if you filed a 2007 tax return on April 15, 2008, the agency would have until April 15, 2011, to audit that particular return.Unfortunately, the mail isn’t always delivered, and sometimes it’s particularly time-sensitive and important. If problems aren’t addressed, the IRS will resort to sending certified letters. For those who waited until the last stress-inducing moment to file, tax day was a looming deadline that they could ignore no longer. Except for a few who forgot to file forms or requests for exemptions, it was the start of a long, blissful period without having to worry about filing federal and state taxes. Meanwhile, our website has information about what to do if you owe additional taxes, such as paying your tax bill or applying for an online payment plan. If we propose changes to your tax return, this letter will also include two forms. Although ignorance is bliss, the absolute worst thing you can do when the IRS sends you an audit letter is to ignore it.If you require additional help understanding your letter or you would like more specific advice on how to deal with your tax problem, feel free to contact us. Most IRS letters have a notice number listed on the top right hand corner of the letter. With your IRS letter in hand, you can use our IRS letter decoder to find more information about the letter and plan your course of action. Simply input this code, and we’ll let you know why you received the letter, how serious it is, and what steps you need to take. The IRS will not send these notices by email or contact you by phone. There are many other errors as well, such as a missing W-2 or items left blank. Write a letter to explain the issue, and send it to the IRS with supporting documentation and a check to cover any discrepancies, if necessary).

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If you are going through a financial hardship, the IRS offers other arrangements that may allow you to defer payment or settle. If you failed to save any documentation to prove that your claims are valid, try to garner support from third parties that may possess a reasonable way to verify the accuracy of your claims. For example, if you are being audited over donations made in 2017 and don’t have any evidence, reach out to the charities involved and ask them to send you documentation from their records. Generally speaking, the IRS has three years from the filing date to audit you, so it’s a good practice to save all of your tax documents for at least this long. However, in cases of fraud or failure to file, they could go back much further. In most mail audits, the IRS requests receipts or documentation to prove the item in question on your return, as well as an explanation of your circumstances that led to the filing. If you had your taxes for the year in question done by a tax professional, contact him or her to ask for clarification about the problem.A field audit, on the other hand, will involve an IRS agent coming to the audited person’s home or place of business, or wherever the relevant records are kept. Field audits are usually conducted when the IRS suspects fraud or has more serious questions about the legitimacy of a tax filing and must gather on-the-ground information. Processing delays are another reason the IRS sends certified mail. While they don’t send notices for general delays that impact everyone, they do send certified letters to people that are expecting a tax refund but could potentially owe other federal taxes. This notice is called the CP44 notice and it, unfortunately, doesn’t come with instructions.Keep in mind also that the IRS has up to three years to audit your tax return. But you can only negotiate these solutions if you reply to your IRS audit letter as soon as possible and do everything that the letter requests. A CPA or tax attorney will know exactly how to handle your unique circumstances and reasons for the audit. Finally, the letter will be signed by the examination officer who has been assigned to your case and wrote your audit letter. Don’t give out any information to anyone who calls you demanding immediate payment for your tax bill. These callers pretend to work for the IRS and often use fake IRS identification numbers to make you think they are legitimate, when, in reality, they’re scammers. President Donald J. Trump, for example, is the midst of a battle with the IRS over a $72.9 million tax refund claimed and received after prior losses.An unpaid tax balance is one frequent reason the IRS sends certified mail. The IRS sends standard mail when the collection process begins, but the process will escalate if the notices are ignored. The demand letter will include information on how to resolve the taxes owed with options like an offer in compromise or an installment agreement. If the questions aren’t time-sensitive or critical to processing a return, the IRS will send the request for information through standard mail.


The IRS is not in the business of chasing people for amounts that aren’t due. If they’re satisfied you’ve paid what you owe, they will move on. Be patient as this may take some time to work through with the IRS. You will often wait for replies from the department for months at a time. The specific timeline of an audit will depend on numerous factors. Agency backlogs, appeals, and the complexity of a particular audit all play roles in determining the length of the audit process.To address these questions — now and in case of future audits — keep your receipts and records for six years at a minimum. If you are a WordPress user with administrative privileges on this site, please enter your email address in the box below and click “Send”. For more information about audits, go to IRS.gov and type “audit” in the search field. Remember, if you pay your bill in full, you’ll reduce the amount of interest and penalties you will owe.You can pay online or apply for an Online Payment Agreement or Offer in Compromise. To get a copy of your IRS notice or letter in Braille or large print, visit the Information About the Alternative Media Center page for more details. Your notice or letter will explain the reason for the contact and give you instructions on how to handle the issue. Alyssa Maloof Whatley prides herself on honest, aggressive, and compassionate representation of her clients. From the very start of her legal career, Alyssa knew she wanted to help individuals facing financial crisis by focusing on bankruptcy and tax. Alyssa earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degree from Georgia State University College of Law.The agency sent out about 1.9 million notices about math errors last year on 2018 returns. These changes to a tax return are generally time-sensitive but they don’t require an amended return. The changes are critical to processing the return, so any delay in responding to the notice could further delay a tax refund. Sometimes the IRS needs more information to process a tax return. There could be missing Form W-2 information or a mismatch in the employer information the IRS has on file. If the information is critical, the IRS will include directions for returning the requested information easily.

understanding your irs notice or letter

You should not act upon the information on this website without advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Unless you have received such written confirmation, no correspondence you send us will be treated as confidential. The reproduction or retransmission of the contents of this website is prohibited without the prior written consent of The Law Offices of Alyssa Maloof Whatley. If you are one of the less than one percent of people who receive an IRS audit letter, don’t panic.

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  • The following are samples of actual IRS audit letters that our clients have received.
  • There may be additional steps to take to ensure the refund is processed.
  • Delays in answering these questions will delay the refund process.
  • If problems aren’t addressed, the IRS will resort to sending certified letters.
  • If the interest you reported differs from what your bank or brokerage reported, you’ll get a notice informing you of the discrepancy.

We’ve been conditioned to fear the IRS and the prospect of an audit, and many a person has woken up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night with nightmares of having to face an auditor. For most of us, paying taxes gets our attention once or twice a year, then we get on with our lives. But a few of us will be hearing from the IRS again soon, and although you might cringe at getting such a letter, in many cases, it’s not bad news. Use the envelope we provided to return the form with your payment. However, if your documents don’t fit in the envelope, send us the information by using the address on the envelope.

Keep A Copy Of Your Notice Or Letter

It is important to know that tax audits are not exclusively conducted for just the previous year. Audits are typically triggered within two years of a return being filed, but the IRS can go as far back as six years when pulling tax returns for auditing purposes. Quickly answering all correspondence from the IRS can help ensure that the audit process does not get drawn out. Interest can continue to add up during the length of an audit if a taxpayer has a delinquent tax. In short, longer audits can cost extra money for people who owe taxes. Keep in mind that the IRS doesn’t scan tax returns by hand to spot oddities; instead, it uses a computer system designed to spot areas of concern on returns. Nobody is safe from the DIF – every single return received by the IRS is scanned through it.

understanding your irs notice or letter

Provide any and all related documentation attached to your letter. An IRS letter will clearly tell you exactly what information they are looking for.

Did The Irs Make A Mistake Not You?

The agency will make the appropriate changes to your tax account. Read all IRS letters and notices you receive, both certified and via regular mail. IRS-certified mail for processing delays like this is a courtesy notification. Detailed information will follow once the IRS has determined whether the refund will be applied to a past-due tax balance or sent to the recipient.

Why did I get an envelope from the IRS?

Every year the IRS mails letters or notices to taxpayers for many different reasons. Typically, it’s about a specific issue with a taxpayer’s federal tax return or tax account. A notice may tell them about changes to their account or ask for more information. It could also tell them they need to make a payment.IRS letters and notices are sent to you by mail through the USPS. Regardless of the reason the IRS is contacting you, it’s usually not a call for alarm. If action is required on your part, any notice you receive will say so and you’ll have ample time to deal with the matter.It looks like we’re having some trouble accessing your Credit Karma account. We’re working hard at getting everything back up and running, so check back soon to access your free credit scores, full credit report and more. Before you panic and assume the worst – such as a full-blown audit – take a breath.

How To Identify An Irs Audit Letter

However, by responding accurately and on time, with the help of a tax attorney, you have the best shot possible to get things wrapped up in just a few short months. After you’ve read your IRS audit letter and determined why the IRS chose to audit you, you should gather all of the documentation that supports the deductions in question. This may include receipts, appraisals, canceled checks, or mileage logs.Other people head straight to the web to see if they might be receiving an IRS audit letter. If you think your tax return may contain some of the red flags that trigger audits, it’s wise to get ahead of the problem. You can and should provide explanations for any details that could look problematic. Including receipts with a return is a smart way to provide documentation.