So you got a letter from the IRS -- What now?

Now that April 15 has passed, many California taxpayers are breathing a sigh of relief that they don't have to deal with the IRS for another year. However, that may not be the case. It is in the days, weeks and even months following April 15 that the IRS sends letters to out to taxpayers on a myriad of issues.

When a taxpayer receives a letter from the IRS, he or she tends to be apprehensive about even opening it. For a number of taxpayers, there is nothing to worry about. The IRS just needs an additional piece of information or is advising the taxpayer of something. However, there are a number of taxpayers who will receive letters that indicate the taxpayer owes additional money to the IRS.

For taxpayers that receive this type of notice, the first step would be to read the whole thing thoroughly. Some taxpayers may agree with the assessment and need only to send the money to the IRS. However, there will be a number of taxpayers that will want to protest the amount.

The next step for those California taxpayers that find themselves going up against the IRS is to find some help. It may take some time to put together a response to the IRS and to gather any and all documentation to send along with a formal response, so the sooner a taxpayer finds the assistance they need, the better. With time and perseverance, it may be possible to either show the IRS that the taxpayer doesn't owe any additional money to the IRS or to negotiate a compromise that is acceptable to both sides.

Source: Huffington Post, "What to Do If You Receive an IRS Notice or Letter," Mark Steber, April 30, 2013

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