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Steps to take if you receive a notice from the IRS

There are many things that people look forward to receiving in the mail. A notice from the Internal Revenue Service is not one of those things and when experienced by residents of California, it is generally not a welcomed sight. Further, the recipient is probably unsure of what to do.

Notices from the IRS are mailed out to millions of residents of the United States each year. Regardless of the reason for it, recipients should be sure to look at it promptly. If action is necessary, it should be taken in a timely manner.

A notice may be sent for multiple reasons including seeking additional information related to a claim or indicating that the agency has changed your tax return. In the latter situation, what needs to be done depends upon whether you agree or disagree. Should you take issue with the purported correction you should send a letter that explains what you believe to be true regarding the matter. Include the required portion of the notice and any relevant supporting documents with the letter and mail it to the IRS. In situations where you agree with the change, unless additional payment is owed you do not need to take any action.

Copies of all correspondence received from the IRS should be kept.

Of course not all income tax matters are straightforward. The tax code is complex and often changes. Accordingly, in situations where matters are more complex it may be a good idea to seek assistance from a lawyer who routinely handles tax matters.

Source: Internal Revenue Service, “What to do if You Get a Notice from the IRS,” July 2, 2014

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