You go to the mail box and find that you have a letter from the IRS.  Usually, the notice covers a very specific issue about your tax return.   Sometimes it is serious—but most of the time it’s no big deal. But just in case one does show up, here are some of the things you should know.

forms
  1. Don’t panic. It may just be a simple explanation.
  2. Each letter is very specific as to what you need to do to answer the inquiry.
  3. If the notice is about a “correction” on your tax return, compare it with the numbers on your return.
  4. If you agree, nothing further needs to be done. It was just a notice that the IRS changed something.
  5. If you do not agree, it is important that you respond to the request within the time period outlined in the IRS letter.
  6. If you do not agree, respond in writing why you disagree. Tear off the bottom portion of the letter and return it, along with any relevant documents or information.
  7. Keep copies of everything you sent to them.
  8. Mail to the address the IRS provides in the letter.
  9. Allow 30-45 days for a reply.
  10. Most issues should be handled in writing. However, if you have a question, use the phone number provided in the upper right-hand corner of the letter.

If you’d like to know from year to year what the recent tax changes will be, visit IRS.gov, click on the “News Tool Bar” and then select “e-news Subscriptions.”