Receiving a letter from the IRS does not always indicate you are under audit. In most cases, notices are either a simple administrative matter or a request for additional information. The first step is always to read the notice. If your notice says that the IRS changed or corrected your tax return, review the information and compare it with your original return.

If you agree with the notice, you usually don’t need to reply unless it gives you other instructions or you need to make a payment. If you don’t agree with the notice, you need to respond. Write a letter that explains why you disagree, and include information and documents you want the IRS to consider. Mail your response with the contact stub at the bottom of the notice to the address on the contact stub. Allow at least 30 days for a response.

If your return was prepared by a professional, share a copy of the notice with them to see if they have any input into the scenario. Note that the IRS only sends letters and notices by mail. They will not contact people by email or social media to ask for personal or financial information. If you owe tax, you have several payment options. The IRS won’t demand that you pay a certain way, such as prepaid debit or credit card.


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