If you’ve been keeping up on filing your tax returns and paying your taxes and you came across this article then, most likely, you have received a letter from the IRS. In the accounting office we call it an IRS Notice. Your heart may have skipped a beat and you contemplated on whether you should just burn it…into a pile of ash…or just write “return to sender” in hopes they wrote to the wrong person. Some people open their letters while others, well, let’s just say they treat it like junk mail. It ends up taking up counter space and eventually gets buried kind of like those “New Year’s Resolutions” that we make on January 1st and forget about them the next day.
Then again, you’re here because you opened that letter and gasp…Uncle Sam says you owe him money. Don’t panic just yet, it may be because you filed your payment late and have to pay a penalty with interest. If that’s the case, the problem goes away as soon as you pay what’s owed. The question is…Do you owe the IRS the amount stated in that letter? Maybe or maybe not. The answer can be obtained with a series of a few questions that you should ask yourself. But, before you start, there is some pertinent information that has to be gleaned from that Notice. The IRS has been kind enough to make the new notices a little more…humane….friendly…written in English…you put your own words here. Truly, the IRS has been revamping their Notices they send out to taxpayers…it looks a bit more friendly.
Alright, IF you received a notice from the IRS here’s what you should do. Open the letter and look at the bold writing. If it says you owe money, don’t panic. Take a breath and look at the upper, right hand corner of the notice. Look for the words “Tax Period” and “Form number”. The tax period will tell you what year this applies to while the form number will tell you which type of tax you have been assessed. For individuals, the form typically says “1040” which is the form individual taxpayers use to report and pay their income taxes.
If this is the first notice you have received, there should be an explanation for the change for that particular period. If you don’t think you owe this additional amount, pick up your cell phone and dial 208-935-1040 ext. 0 and we will be happy to provide some insight as to why you have received the notice. If this a a second, third, or fourth in a series of IRS Notices that you have received, then you should definitely get in touch with your accountant. If your accountant does not provide representation services, then give us a call. We would be happy to discuss the letter and provide you with a clear answer on what steps you should take to clear it up. Please call us at 208-935-1040.