I got a letter from the IRS. What should I do?

Millions of letters are mailed by the IRS each year to taxpayers for many different reasons. If you get a letter from the IRS here are a few suggestions on what to do.

Open the letter right away and don’t panic. Most IRS letters will be about your federal tax return. Each letter will deal with a specific issue. Each letter will give you specific instructions on what to do. It is important you read the letter carefully. Read it two or three times, if necessary, to fully understand what is being said.

An IRS letter could be about changes to your account, taxes you owe, or a request for payment. It could be a request for more information about your tax return.

If the letter indicates a changed or corrected tax return, review the information and compare it with the return you filed. You did save a copy of your tax return, didn’t you?

There is no need to reply to a letter or notice unless the letter specifically instructs you to do so. If a response is required, sending a response will take care of most IRS letters.

You must respond to any letter that you don’t agree with. Mail the IRS a letter  explaining why you disagree. Save a copy of your response.

There is no need to go to the IRS office or call them for most notices. If it is necessary to call the IRS, use the phone number listed in the upper right-hand corner of the letter or notice. Be sure to have a copy of your tax return and letter in front of you when calling.

Save copies of any notices and letters you receive with your tax records.

Watch out for tax scams. The IRS sends letters and notices by U.S. Mail. The IRS will not contact you by email or social media. The IRS will not demand payments by prepaid debit card or credit card.