You receive a notice from the Internal Revenue Service, (IRS)! What should you do? Most importantly, understand that you are not alone. The IRS sends millions of letters to taxpayers and in many cases, are easily resolved. We recommend these steps should you find yourself with an IRS notice:
Don’t panic! Contact your tax preparer about the notice you received so they can research how to resolve the issue on your behalf. Through the years, the IRS has continually tried to simplify correspondence instructions, but sometimes it can still be a struggle to determine what is needed to resolve a notice. At SGA, we can quickly and accurately assist you.
There are many reasons the IRS sends notices to taxpayers. The notice usually covers a specific issue about your account or tax return. It may request payment, notify you of a change to your account or ask for additional information. If a response is needed, there is typically a deadline for a response. As experienced tax preparers, we can assist you with resolving any notice you may receive.
Your tax preparer can inform you of what is needing to be done to resolve any issues. Sometimes, no response is needed. If a response is needed and you want your tax preparer to draft the response, they can do so, and may need additional information/documents from you to complete the task. One document SGA frequently requests clients sign is a Power of Attorney so we can communicate on your behalf with the IRS. A signed Power of Attorney document allows tax preparers to assist you to whatever degree needed.
Tax preparers will want to take a copy of the notice. This way, we have a copy of the notice in order to adjust the year/period in question or future years, if necessary.
There is usually no need for you to call or visit an IRS office to answer most notices. However, the IRS always provides a phone number in the upper right corner of the notice. If you call the IRS with questions, have a copy of your tax return in question and the notice available. Although you may get through to an IRS representative in a relatively short time, long wait times on the phone are not unusual. There are tools on the IRS website (www.irs.gov) that might be of assistance to you such as: Where’s My Refund?, Where’s My Amended Return?, Direct Pay Options, Apply Online for a Payment Agreement or Plan, Get An Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN), IRS Forms & Instructions, and IRS Publications (for example, Publication 1 tells you Your Rights as a Taxpayer.)
Beware of scams. It is possible to receive a notice or letter from someone that represents themselves as being from the IRS but is not from the IRS. You can visit the IRS Report Phishing page or call 1-800-829-1040 to report phishing. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes any requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, bank and other financial accounts.
After the notice is addressed, it should be kept with your tax records for the period/year to which it relates.
While receiving a notice from the IRS can seem daunting, please understand that working with a tax preparer through any tax or accounting situation can ease your uncertainties and quicken the process. We would gladly welcome the opportunity to work with you for any tax or accounting needs.
Contributing Author: Amy M. DuPuis, CPA | EMAIL | Sink, Gordon & Associates, LLP
Amy has been with Sink, Gordon & Associates LLP since January of 2010 and works primarily with business entities and individuals on taxation, research and consulting. Amy has a combined 20 years of accounting experience and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants. She pursued a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health-Medical Dietetics at The Ohio State University and graduated in 1977. She gained her Master of Professional Accountancy from Wichita State University in December 1996. Amy gained her CPA designation in January 1997. Outside of the firm, she is involved with her church in Topeka, St. David’s Episcopal. Additionally, Amy volunteers for several organizations within the Topeka community by participating in Share Fest, Let’s Help and volunteering at Rescue Mission, among other organizations. Amy has three children.
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