Don’t panic! You have just received a notice from the IRS, but what does that really mean? Each year, the IRS sends millions of these notices, typically just to inform you about issues on your tax returns or tax account. For example, the notice may simply be asking you to correct an error or to provide additional information. To help you out, the IRS website has compiled an easy list on What to Do When you Receive an IRS Notice:

IRS Summertime Tax Tip

1. Don’t Ignore It

Most IRS notices can be dealt with quickly and easily. It is important for your to reply to these notices promtply.

2. Read it Carefully

Each notice will come with  a list of instructions to follow. These will help you figure out what you need to do.

3. Review the Information

If the notice says that the IRS corrected your tax return, review the information and compare it to what you submitted.

a. If you agree – You don’t need to reply unless a payment is due

b. If you do NOT agree – You must respond to the IRS with a letter that explains why you don’t agree. Make sure to include information and any documents you want the IRS to consider. Also be sure to include the bottom tear-off portion of the notice with your letter and mail your reply to the IRS at the address shown in the lower left part of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for the a response from the IRS.

Photo Credit: Ken Teegardin

Photo Credit: Ken Teegardin

4. Call with Questions

Most notices can be handled without calling or visiting the IRS. However, if you do have questions, call the phone number in the upper right corner of the notice. Be sure to have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call.

5. Keep Copies

Always keep copies of any notices you get from the IRS.

6. Avoid Scams

Don’t fall for phone and phishing email scams that say they are from the IRS. The IRS will always contact people about unpaid taxes first by mail, not by phone. The IRS never contact taxpayers by email, text or social media about their tax return or tax account.

For More Information

Visit and click on ‘Responding to a Notice,’ or see Publication 594, the IRS Collection Process. You can also contact the IRS at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) to request Publication 594 by mail.