If you receive a letter in the mail from the IRS, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in trouble. They could be sending you a refund check. Or they could be contacting you to say that, after reviewing your tax return, they’ve found that you may be entitled to a higher refund than you’d claimed.
However, in most other cases, the IRS will contact you to warn you that something is—or could be—wrong, and you need to take action. In today’s post, we outline some basic things to be aware of when you receive an IRS letter.
Common IRS letters
You may receive a Notice of Intent to Levy or a Notice of Federal Tax Lien—both of which mean that the IRS is making a claim on your property for your failure to pay back taxes. However, you will never receive such notices out of the blue. The IRS will always send you warning notifications in advance.
You could also receive an IRS audit letter—advising you that, due to suspicious claims in your tax return, the IRS is going to conduct a thorough investigation into your finances.
What you should do
Anytime you receive a letter from the IRS, it’s always worthwhile to hold onto it—and keep it with your tax records. It’s important to follow any instructions included in the letter—and be sure to adhere to any deadlines, in order to avoid penalties. Contacting an experienced tax attorney can be extremely useful to help you navigate through serious tax issues.
Is the letter legit?
These days, the majority of scammers who impersonate the IRS target their victims through phone or email. However, receiving a fraudulent letter from someone claiming to represent the IRS isn’t impossible.
If you receive a letter that makes suspicious, threatening or unexpected claims, it never hurts to double-check its validity. Go to the IRS website and check that the contact information listed online matches that on the letter. You can also call the IRS directly and ask them to confirm the authenticity of the letter.