Every year, the IRS expects around 155 million income tax returns. With that many returns to review, it’s inevitable that the federal tax agency will make mistakes once in a while. If the IRS makes an error on your taxes, it is up to you (and, potentially, a tax attorney) to point out its mistake. Otherwise, you might have to pay far more in taxes than you really owe.
If you have gotten a letter from the IRS claiming you owe a tax bill you believe is incorrect, here are some steps to take.
Get your paperwork together
In your response to the IRS letter, clearly state what the agency’s error was. Provide documentation to back up your assertion. For example, if the IRS seems to be double-counting the income listed on your W-2, a copy of your W-2 would help show the error, as would a statement of your actual income.
The IRS might not respond to your response letter. You might have to contact the contact person named in the initial letter several times to get a resolution. If you get nowhere with them, you should politely ask to deal with their supervisor instead. Don’t give up.
Consider professional help
A larger disputed tax bill, such as one of $50,000 or more, puts you in danger of getting into a big financial hole. In this case, it may make sense for you to turn to a tax attorney to get the matter resolved. For one thing, if the IRS won’t recognize its mistake, you may need to file a lawsuit.