What to Do If You Receive an IRS Letter

By John Strohmeyer • Tax

Receiving a letter from the IRS might send shivers down your spine. So what’s your first step? Is it always a cause for alarm? Let’s walk through what you should do.


Dealing with an IRS Letter: Tips and Advice

We know how scary a letter from the IRS can be. It can be confusing, even panic-inducing, but it’s not always a major issue. No matter how serious it is, there are some simple steps to get you moving towards resolution. Here’s the top ten tips for dealing with an IRS letter.


1. Stay Calm

First and foremost, don’t panic. Receiving a letter from the IRS doesn’t always spell trouble. In many cases, it’s simply a piece of information or a minor correction.


2. Do Not Ignore It

It’s essential to open the letter and understand its content. Procrastination won’t help, and you might have important deadlines to meet.


3. Consult a Tax Professional

While the internet offers broad advice, your specific situation requires expertise. Reach out to your CPA or tax agent for personalized advice.


4. Educate Yourself

Check the top right corner of the letter for its specific number. By Googling this number, you can get a general understanding of its content and purpose, which will make you a well-informed client.


5. Understand the Instructions

Every IRS letter comes with specific instructions on the necessary actions. Ensure you understand these fully. We suggest Googling the letter number and reading


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6. Verify the Information

Errors can occur, and they might not be your fault. Double-check the letter’s content against your own records.


7. Some Letters Require Minimal Action

Sometimes, all you need to do is make a payment. Other times, reading the letter might be the only action required. Piece of cake.


8. Disagree? Seek Professional Help

If you find discrepancies, consult your tax professional to determine the next steps. Remember, the IRS aims for compliance and swift resolutions.


9. Correspondence with the IRS

In most situations, you won’t need to meet any IRS representatives in person. No in-person grilling about what you might have done wrong, just back and forth via mail or email. However, it’s crucial to keep copies of all correspondence, use delivery services like FedEx or UPS for traceability, and even consider sending a self-addressed stamped envelope for acknowledgment.


10. Always Keep Copies

Documentation is your ally. Retain copies of all your tax-related documents to provide prompt and accurate responses when needed.



In summary, an IRS letter doesn’t always spell doom. With the right approach and guidance, you can navigate through the situation with minimal stress. Remember, at the end of the day, both you and the IRS want a quick and correct resolution.

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What to Do If You Receive an IRS Letter

Receiving a letter from the IRS might send shivers down your spine. So what's your first step? Is it always a cause for alarm? Let's walk through what you should do.

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