The IRS sends notices and letters for the following reasons:
- You have a balance due.
- You are due a larger or smaller refund.
- They have a question about your tax return.
- They need to verify your identity.
- They need additional information.
- They changed your return.
- They need to notify you of delays in processing your return.
Your notice or letter will explain the reason for the contact and give you instructions on how to handle the issue.
If you agree with the information, there is no need to contact them.
They provide a contact phone number on the top right-hand corner of the notice or letter. Typically, you only need to contact them if you don’t agree with the information, if they requested additional information, or if you have a balance due. You can also write to them at the address in the notice or letter. If you write, allow at least 30 days for their response.
If your notice or letter requires a response by a specific date, there are two main reasons you’ll want to comply:
- to minimize additional interest and penalty charges.
- to preserve your appeal rights if you don’t agree.
If you have a balance due, pay as much as you can, even if you can’t pay the full amount you owe. You can pay online or apply for an Online Payment Agreement or Offer in Compromise.
It’s important to keep a copy of all notices or letters with your tax records. You may need these documents at a later date.
You can find the notice (CP) or letter (LTR) number on either the top or the bottom right-hand corner of your correspondence.
Please visit the IRS Report Phishing page if you receive a notice or letter that looks suspicious and was designed to appear as though it came from the IRS. You can also call 800-829-1040. They never ask taxpayers for personal information via e-mail or social media.