Responding to a notice from the IRS can be a daunting task. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out why you’re being contacted, how to respond, what information the IRS needs, and/or whether or not we can refute any charges. Often times we are provided with a lot of information about what will happen if we don’t respond properly, but very little guidance on how our response should be presented. Here are some tips to ensure that your communication with the IRS is well received, and your issue can be resolved quickly.
Understand Your Notice
Read your notice and read it again. Make sure you fully understand what the IRS is telling you before you respond. If you are still unsure, you have options. Contact an accounting or tax professional to help you understand your notice, or call the IRS to clarify.
Call or Write?
Getting through to the IRS via phone can take time, but is helpful if you have questions about your notice. Calling can expedite your response process, as you can confirm with a representative exactly what the IRS is looking for, how you should respond, and if you have options. Have your identification information and questions ready before you call. Make sure you get off the phone knowing exactly what the next steps are.
Remember Who You’re Talking To
When you contact the IRS remember that you are talking to a regular person, not an entire government agency. Always be professional and respectful, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. They also want to resolve your issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Provide Relevant Information
When you’re ready to send your formal response, in writing, make sure you provide the following information to ensure your response is easily identifiable:
- Your name and/or business name (as written on your original notice) and tax ID.
- Reference number as written on the IRS notice you are responding to.
- Identify the issue and period the notice refers to. For example: Quarter 4 2014 Payroll Tax Deposits, or 2013 Form 940, or 2014 Form 1040, etc.
- Correct contact information. Include the individual’s name as written on the notice and correct phone and email. A Power of Attorney form must be completed for any other individual to communicate with the IRS on your behalf.
- A copy of the original notice.
- Enclose any relevant or requested documentation.