Topic no. 651, Notices – What to do

If you receive a letter or notice from the IRS, it will explain the reason for the contact and give you instructions on how to handle your problem. If you agree with the changes, there's no need to contact us. If you owe a balance, follow the instructions for sending your payment. If you don't agree, please respond as directed in your notice. You should allow at least 30 days for a reply from the IRS. If you're due a refund and owe no other tax or debts that we're required to collect, you'll receive the refund within 6 weeks of the notice date.

Note: Get up-to-date status on current IRS operations and services

If you made a payment for which you haven't been given credit, and you paid by check, send us a copy of the front and back of the canceled check as proof of the payment. If you paid by money order, you must obtain a copy of the front and back of the canceled money order from the place where you purchased the money order. If you paid using EFTPS: The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, you can send us a copy of the transaction that includes the confirmation number. Never send original documents.

If you contact us about a lost or stolen refund check, the notice we send you will tell you what action to take. If you receive a Notice CP2000, refer to Topic no. 652.

If you make quarterly estimated tax payments, please review your computation. You may need to make changes to the amount of your payments based on the changes we made.

All notices should tell you where to send your response. Keep a copy of all IRS correspondence for your tax records.

Most correspondence can be handled without calling or visiting an IRS office if you follow the instructions in your letter or notice. However, if you have questions, call the telephone number that's usually found in the upper right-hand corner of your notice. Have a copy of your tax return and the correspondence available when you call so we can readily access your account.