The IRS sends notices for various reasons, including tax debt collection. IRS notices serve not only as a reminder to taxpayers, they also provide information regarding the amount of the debt and how it can be paid. Notices from the IRS do not, however, include every resolution method available. Some notices require a reply from the taxpayer, while others may request additional action be taken. In general, it’s a good idea to do the following if you receive a notice from the IRS:
- Read the entire notice carefully. Pay close attention to the amount of tax debt, the reason for the liability, and the payment deadline.
- Calculate the total amount you owe, including penalties and interest.
- Research reliable and competent tax help if the issue is too complex to handle on your own.
- If there are calculation errors or you determine that you do not owe taxes, contact the IRS immediately by calling or replying to their notice in writing. The phone number to call is provided on the upper right corner of the notice.
- Collect and organize your past tax returns and other supporting documents.
- Make copies of the IRS notice you received in case you lose the original.
It’s important to move quickly once you receive an IRS notice. Tax debt resolution can be a lengthy process and can become more complicated over time. Ignoring, procrastinating or avoiding a resolution can have damaging effects.
The IRS sends multiple notices to a taxpayer, allowing the individual to determine a resolution. Early on, the taxpayer is not subjected to aggressive collection actions. Taxpayers have the option of contacting the IRS on their own, or hiring a tax professional to resolve the case. Either way, it’s essential to initiate a resolution early to prevent forcible collection efforts.