The first thing to do is to check the return address to be sure it’s from the Internal Revenue Service and not another agency.
If it’s from the IRS, the notice will have instructions on how to respond and provide specific website link for you to visit for additional information located at the end of the notice or letter. Visit I got a notice from the IRS for further details including what to do if the notice is not from the IRS.
First and foremost, don’t ignore notices from the IRS. Even if you can’t pay the taxes you owe, responding to a notice before the due date could prevent a lot of trouble. For example, the IRS can issue a levy and take your property or assets. Be sure to keep your address up to date with the IRS so you receive all notices and letters.
If you disagree with the proposed action in the notice and/or the balance owing, this Notice is your right to request a CDP hearing. You’ll have until the date shown on the notice to request a CDP hearing with Appeals. See IRS Publication 1660 for a full explanation of the CDP process. If you wish to appeal the filing of the NFTL and/or the proposed levy action, you need to timely complete and mail Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing. If you do not file Form 12153, you will lose the ability to contest Appeals’ decision in the U.S. Tax Court. If your request for a CDP hearing isn’t timely, you can request an equivalent hearing within one year from the date of the CDP notice, but you can’t go to court if you disagree with Appeals’ decision.
If the IRS has already issued a CDP notice for that particular tax debt, then you can still request a hearing with Appeals either before or after the IRS levies your property. You can also request a hearing when the IRS proposes filing of an NFTL and when the IRS rejects, modifies, or terminates your installment agreement. You will need to request a conference through the CAP, but unlike a CDP hearing, you may not seek review of Appeal’s determination in the U.S. Tax Court. See Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process, and Publication 1660 for a full explanation of the process.
If you agree with the notice but can’t pay the full amount by that date, you need to figure out what payment options might work for your situation, and act to set up a payment plan or other way to pay off your balance. For specifics, see I got a notice from the IRS on TAS Get Help .
Being proactive in addressing the tax debt may prevent additional penalty and interest charges and eliminate the need for the IRS to take action to collect the balance. For specifics, see I got a notice from the IRS on TAS Get Help and Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Unpaid Taxes for further information.
You may represent yourself at CDP, the CAP and other Appeals proceedings. Or, you may be represented by an attorney, certified public accountant, or a person enrolled to practice before the IRS. Also, you may be represented by a member of your immediate family, or in the case of a business, by regular full-time employees, general partners or bona fide officers. If you want your representative to contact us or appear without you and to receive and inspect confidential material, you must file a properly completed Form 2848 (no earlier than 10/2011 revision), Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. You may also authorize an individual to receive or inspect confidential material but not represent you before the IRS, by filing a Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization. These forms are available at your local IRS office, by calling 1-800-829-3676, or from IRS.gov.
You can also ask that the IRS manager review your case informally. You can obtain the manager’s name and phone number by contacting the employee listed on your notice. IRS employees are required to give you their manager’s name and phone number. For specifics, see Levies on TAS Get Help or Liens on TAS Get Help for further information.
If you believe you have an acceptable reason for interest or a penalty to be removed or reduce, you may complete Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement, or send a signed statement to the IRS explaining your reason why. For specific instructions, see Notice 746, Information About Your Notice, Penalty and Interest (PDF).