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Why does the IRS send notices?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2022 | Tax Controversies |

Do you have concerns about a letter from the IRS? The Internal Revenue Service sends taxpayer notices for specific purposes.

Review the common types of IRS notices you may receive and the next steps to take.

Reasons for IRS notices

You may receive a letter in the mail from the IRS because:

  • A delay will occur in tax return processing.
  • The agency has changed your tax return.
  • You must send more information to process your return.
  • The agency needs to confirm your identity.
  • Your refund will be smaller or larger than expected.
  • You owe outstanding taxes.

The IRS may also contact you with general questions about your tax return.

Actions to take

Read any notice you receive from the IRS carefully. It will detail the next steps you have to take to resolve the outstanding tax issue if necessary.

Some notices include a deadline for your response. If you do not respond in time, the IRS may charge interest, penalties and fees. In some cases, you may have to answer only if you disagree with the agency’s determination.

If the notice indicates that you have past-due taxes, you can remit payment by mail or go online to set up a payment plan. Even if you cannot pay the full amount, paying as much as you can at one time can reduce your interest charges and penalties.

Some messages that seem to be from the IRS are actually fraudulent. If you are not sure whether a notice is actually from the agency, you can call 800-829-1040 to find out if it is valid and report a suspected fraud attempt.