Ask anyone who has ever dealt with the Internal Revenue Service before how frustrating it can be, and you are likely to receive a pained look and a lecture on how mind numbing the whole experience was. If you need to write a response to an IRS notice, here are a few essential tips for what is a fairly straight forward correspondence.
If you receive an IRS notice in the mail, this means that they are likely adding more unreported income to your tax return, which would either reduce your refund or increase the overall amount of money that you owe. The first thing you need to remember is to never write a letter to anyone, especially the IRS, angry. Every year, the IRS processes millions of returns, and every year, they get a bunch of them wrong, so there is always a chance that the letter is an error to begin with, but that doesn’t give you permission to ignore it. You must answer the letter by the due date listed and here is what you should include in it.
Start the letter like you would any formal letter with the address to the IRS office at the top and the address for you underneath. Give a formal introduction and then simply state that you are disputing the findings in the letter you received. In most cases, the letter is because the IRS believes that you underreported income on your form. You are disputing that, so you will need to explain why you feel that way, and most important of all, you will need to attach proof of your claims so that it isn’t just your word against theirs. Make sure you clearly spell out your reasoning and mention the fact that you have attached proof that backs up what you’re saying. Your tone here is very important. You need to stay positive and upbeat, and not accusatory or angry in any way.
It is important to state that you never, ever attach any original documents. Send in high quality photocopies at all times. Also, there is a chance that if the IRS finds multiple instances of unreported or under reported income on your tax form, they will likely send you multiple letters. You can use a template for each letter but make sure you personalize each one enough so it is authentic, and make sure you attach as much proof you have of your claims, otherwise, your response is essentially pointless.
Another helpful tip for dealing with the IRS, don’t be surprised if this issue is prolonged and protracted. It isn’t a slight against you in any way, you are simply dealing with a huge bureaucracy that is extremely inefficient. This is why you never send originals because you might have to send all of this again. Make sure you save your letter that you type up so you can simply print it right off again if need be.