What should I do if I receive a notice from a taxing agency?

Throughout the year, we receive a lot of correspondence from both clients and non-clients about a letter or notice they receive from a taxing agency.  It could be from the IRS, The Indiana Department of Revenue, The Indiana Department of Workforce Development, another state government, Social Security, or another agency.  In all cases, we recommend that they get us a copy of the notice for review as soon as possible.  We cannot assist our clients until we get a copy of the notice.

The largest mistake taxpayers make is they ignore notices they receive.  You should never ignore a notice.

Most notices are written poorly and are hard to understand unless you are familiar with the tax law and regularly deal with tax notices.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commonly asks for additional information.  The IRS and other agencies honestly seem to expect that taxpayers retain all of their financial and tax records organized by year in a hermetically sealed room in case they are needed.  For those clients that do not, we can gather what is necessary and send it off with a response quickly.

There are also a number of notices that people bring in that turn out to be a scam and we have dealt with several in the last few months.  Scammers will send out threatening letters about tax liens or sending you to jail to scare people into sending them money.  Sometimes these letters are obviously fake; littered with spelling and grammar mistakes, but they are becoming more sophisticated each year.  If you pay the scammers, it is nearly impossible to get the money back.  Should you fall victim to identity theft, contact the IRS via Form 10439.  They will mark your account with an identify theft indicator to help protect you in the future.  They may also give you an Identity Protection PIN, which is a six-digit pin that will be sent to you every year for use on your tax return.  We must have the Identity Protection PIN in order to e-file your return.

If you receive a letter or notice from a taxing agency we strongly recommend you send it to us within a few days.  We cannot assist you in resolving the notice until we get a copy of the actual notice.  If you have any questions, please contact us at (260)407-5000. We are happy to help!

Mike Sylvester, CPA/ABV. MBA

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