Nothing can make your heart start to race quite like a letter from the government. Get a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and you may have visions of an impending visit by an agent in a black suit asking to see your financial records. Although an actual visit from an IRS agent is unlikely, additional contact is possible. As such, it is important not to ignore the letter.
Why did the IRS contact me?
The feds generally reach out because they have a question about your return. This may be a request to verify your identity, the need for additional information or a notification that they changed your tax return. Read through the letter to see why the agency sent it.
What should I do?
The letter likely states what the agency wants you to do and gives you a specific timeline. This timeline is important as a failure to meet the stated deadlines can limit your ability to challenge their claim.
The law requires the agency provide a clear explanation. The law also gives you the right to challenge the IRS’s claims. The law also requires the IRS consider any “timely objection” and provide a response.
It is important to meet the stated timelines. In most cases, taxpayers have 60 days to tell the IRS that they disagree with the notification. If the IRS does not agree with your position, you still have options. You can file a petition with United States Tax Court, but must generally do so within 90 days of the date listed on the notice.
Getting a legal advocate on your side, one who knows the laws, is recommended. You do not have to tackle this on your own.