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About Your IRS Notice or Letter

IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2016-05, July 13, 2016                                                      Español

The IRS normally sends correspondence in the mail. We mail millions of letters to taxpayers every year. Keep these important points in mind if you get a letter or notice:

  • Don’t Ignore It.  You can respond to most IRS notices quickly and easily.  

  • Follow Instructions.  Read the notice carefully. It will tell you if you need to take any action. Be sure to follow the instructions. The letter will also have contact information if you have questions.

  • Focus on the Issue.  IRS notices usually deal with a specific issue about your tax return or tax account. Your notice or letter will explain the reason for the contact and give you instructions on how to handle the issue. You can learn more about your notice or letter on IRS.gov.

  • Correction Notice. If the IRS corrected your tax return, you should review the information provided and compare it to your tax return.

If you agree, you don’t need to reply unless a payment is due.

If you don’t agree, it’s important that you respond. Follow the instructions on the notice for the best way to respond to us. You may be able to call us to resolve the issue. Have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call. If you choose to write to us, be sure to include information and any documents you want us to consider. Also, write your taxpayer identification number (Social Security number, employer identification number or individual taxpayer identification number) on each page of the letter you send. Mail your reply to the address shown on the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response.

  • Respond to Requests about the Premium Tax Credit.  The IRS may send you a letter asking you to clarify or verify your premium tax credit information. The letter may ask for a copy of your Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. You should follow the instructions on the letter. This will help us verify information and issue the appropriate refund.

  • You Don’t Need to Visit the IRS.  You can handle most notices without visiting the IRS. If you have questions, call the phone number in the upper right corner of the notice. Have a copy of your tax return and the notice when you call.

  • Keep the Notice.  Keep a copy of the IRS notice with your tax records.

  • Watch Out for Scams.  Don’t fall for phone and phishing email scams that use the IRS as a lure. We normally contact you about unpaid taxes by mail first – not by phone. Be aware that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media.

IRS Tax Tips provide valuable information throughout the year. IRS.gov offers tax help and info on various topics including common tax scams, taxpayer rights and more.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 13-Jul-2016