The consequences of ignoring any sort of communication from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be severe. The notices typically require more information on your end and will specifically explain the issue and exactly what you need to do – don’t let them scare you out of responding.

You must first determine whether or not the notice is legitimate. IRS scammers are on the rise and you’ll want to identify them sooner rather than later. That being said, you don’t have to respond to everything! Some letters are sent to simply notify you of changes on your account or updates to your file. If you notice something wrong, then you should respond with information that the IRS can use to adjust the discrepancies. Otherwise, there is no need to send a response.

Letters from the IRS will have a number in the upper right-hand corner for you to call if you have any questions or concerns. They provide a list of sample letter that are usually sent out and why they are sent – see here.

When there is a serious issue that the IRS is trying to inform you about, they will take more serious actions and you may end up owing money or spending time in jail if you are completely unresponsive. There may be a delay while you gather and sort the required information, but try to get everything out within 3-5 business days.

If you do respond and send additional information, be sure to note that correspondence in your records and store copies of everything. While you may be quick to reply, the IRS could take up to 30 days to get back to you … Be patient.

So what’s really going to happen if you keep shredding letters from the IRS instead of cooperating with their requests?

  • They may end up calculating your tax return for you and determining how much you owe and what you’ll get in return.
  • A tax revenue officer might pay you a visit to question your financial situation and understand if and when you’ll be able to pay them.
  • You can face criminal charge for tax evasion, which can lead to arrest or jail time if left unresolved.
  • Your wages could be garnished and money will be deducted from your paycheck before you get it just to pay off debt.
  • The IRS also has the power to seize your assets in order to repay the tax bill.

You’re better safe than sorry, so follow these tips and avoid any trouble with the IRS. As always you can contact IRS Audit Group if you have any questions!