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What Do I Do With an IRS Letter?

The following is a guest post by Jim Young.

If you are one of those folks who just hate bad news, why take a chance by opening a letter from the Internal Revenue Service? You won't be receiving a notice that you won the lottery. More likely you will be informed that you owe additional tax or get equally distressing news - it's audit time.

Most initial letters from the IRS ask for additional information regarding a tax return you have already filed, or they may point out a perceived error they found on the return. The IRS will ask you to pay the additional tax they say you owe and advise you to forward payment or explain why you disagree with their assessment.

When the IRS has reached out and touched you, it's important to read the letter and respond. If you don't, more letters will follow and the tone will become edgier. Frankly, the IRS does not like being ignored.

Jim Young has volunteered with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide since 2002 in Henrico, Va., after retiring from a career in financial management. He is an Enrolled Agent (a person certified by the IRS as qualified to represent taxpayers in dealings with the agency) and is a member of the National Association of Enrolled  Agents. Through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, AARP Foundation provides tax counseling  as a public service, and cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. Your taxes are your responsibility. You are solely responsible for what you do in your own tax situation.


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