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How to Deal with Pesky IRS Notices and Settle IRS Tax Bills
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Receiving any sort of bill in the mail is stressful enough in and of itself; but seeing the Internal Revenue Service return address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope would send waves of terror through anyone’s body.
If an IRS notice is received in the mail, there are many tips that can be followed to make the process as painless as possible.
“Although you may want to, and many of you probably have up until this point, ignoring an IRS notice will not make it go away,” said Venar Ayar of the Ayar Law Group. “Like an open wound left untreated, the longer you wait, the more it will continue to fester. But there are many steps you can take to resolve any tax issue with the IRS.”
First, an IRS notice should not be ignored. Most notices can be responded to quickly and easily, and it’s important to reply right away. Taxpayers should also understand the reason for the notice to make sure they can comply with it. The notice will state if any action needs to be made to resolve the matter, and any instructions should always be followed.
Some notices state the IRS corrected the submitted tax return, and the information provided should be reviewed and compared to the original tax return. If the taxpayer agrees with the correction, no reply is needed unless a payment is due. If not, it’s important to respond to the IRS explaining why there is a disagreement with the corrected tax return.
Most notices can be handled without calling or visiting the IRS, and a copy of the notice should always be kept with tax records.
Taxpayers also need to beware of phone and phishing email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS first contacts people about unpaid taxes by mail — not by phone. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media.
If a notice is received informing you the IRS is owed money, a response is needed immediately. The longer a payment is put off, the more it will accumulate interest and penalties. When it comes to paying the tax bill, payment can be made in full or in installment agreements. Taxpayers can also give an Offer in Compromise or qualify for Currently Non-Collectible Status.
Receiving an IRS notice can be extremely stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If there are any questions or concerns regarding a notice, taxpayers can consult a tax professional to help alleviate the stress, deal with the IRS and guide them through the best course of action for dealing with the notice.