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 (such as funds from a bank account, Social Security benefits, wages, your car, or your home). Be sure to keep your address up to date with the IRS so you receive all notices and letters.
If the IRS has already issued a CDP notice for that particular tax debt and you disagree with the IRS employee’s decision regarding any levy, seizure, or NFTL filing; you can appeal the decision. See Publication 594 and Publication 1660 for a full explanation of the CAP.
If you disagree with the notice, call the IRS at the toll-free number on the top right corner of your notice. Please have your paperwork (such as cancelled checks, amended return, etc.) ready when you call. See also Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest If You Don’t Agree.
If you 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 the TAS website.
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 the TAS website and Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Unpaid Taxes for further information.
You may represent yourself at CDP, 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.
If you believe you have an acceptable reason for interest or a penalty to be removed or reduced, 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.
You may wish to check your tax withholding to make sure you have enough taken from your payroll check each pay period or that you have made an accurate estimated tax payment to ensure you do not have a balance due at the end of the year. Too little can lead to a tax bill or penalty. Too much can mean you won’t have use of the money until you receive a tax refund.