The last thing you want to see when opening your mailbox is a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While these letters are not always serious, you're sure to have some concerns as you open the envelope.
The first thing you should do is read the letter in its entirety, as to better understand what's being asked of you. Maybe it's something simple, such as to notify you that they received your request for an address change. Or maybe it's something much more serious, such as notifying you that you're under investigation for not paying your taxes.
Here are three other tips to follow:
- Don't ignore the notice: The IRS won't go away just because you've ignored its notice. After reading the notice, you'll have a clear idea of what's expected of you. Don't wait to take action.
- Consult with your tax professional: This person can explain the letter, provide advice and help calm your nerves. You may need to rely on their expertise well into the future.
- Learn more about your legal rights: Rather than panic, learn more about your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect them. For example, if you're scheduled to partake in an IRS interview, you have the right to be represented by a legal professional.
The IRS is one entity you don't want to mess with. They have the power to garnish your wages, file a tax lien against you and bring forth criminal charges.
Understanding your situation and legal rights will go a long way in putting your mind at ease and helping you prevent serious consequences in the future.