As Enrolled Agent, I routinely receive letters from the IRS about continuing education, certification, and client issues. Even though I have been receiving them for over twelve years the palms still get sweaty and the heart speeds up. But, it's not love.
So, I can imagine the panic created when you get a letter from the IRS or a state department of revenue. The IRS is getting more proficient and quicker at matching information reported about you with the information reported by you on your tax return. Your employer, bank, mortgage company, brokerage company, and now even your customers, vendors, and credit card processors are reporting tax related information to the IRS as well as you. Also, with the identity theft issues of the past few years, the IRS is scrutinizing suspicious returns much quicker than before.
Scamming is more prevalent now, so to make sure you aren't being scammed please realize that the IRS never emails taxpayers, rarely calls, but is very proficient at writing letters. So, if you are contacted by other than a letter, be suspicious and do not respond directly. The IRS already has all the identifying information they need about you so don't respond with your Social Security number, date of birth, or banking information.
If you do receive that dreaded letter what do you do? Take a deep breath and contact your tax consultant that is why you pay them. If you prepared the return yourself and want to handle it yourself, read through the letter carefully to make sure you understand why the IRS is contacting you. Gather the information needed to respond and follow the instructions on the letter. Calling the IRS or state department of revenue is also helpful in gaining a better understanding of the issues. Be patient, you will most likely have to wait on hold before you can speak with someone that can help you.
You can also contact us, your local H&R Block office (see locations below). We offer a free initial review of the letter you received which can help you determine how to respond or decide you need our help. We are open year round and are staffed with Enrolled Agents, CPAs, and tax accountants with at least 10 years experience.
For more information about tax planning and retirement, contact our article contributor James L. Robertson, EA or any H&R Block tax professional at one of our offices below.
Satellite Blvd 770-921-2200 | 3360 Satellite Blvd, Ste 13, Duluth, GA 30096
Dunwoody 770-396-9218 | 4768 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Ste 200, Dunwoody, GA 30338
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Buckhead 404-237-2355 | 2900 Peachtree Rd NW, Ste 204, Atlanta, GA 30305
Northpoint 678-277-9465 | 7855 North Point Parkway, Ste 302, Alpharetta, GA 30022