Articles & Alerts

What You Need to Know about Receiving Correspondence from the IRS

Now that you’ve filed your 2022 income tax return or requested a six-month extension, the time has come for the IRS to contact taxpayers and request additional information about the figures reported on their returns. This includes the IRS issuing matching notices for discrepancies on the filings, and seeking collections of delinquent tax liabilities. However, it is important for taxpayers to protect themselves against fraudsters trying to gain access to private information. Knowing how the IRS contacts taxpayers will help keep you from providing your personal information to a criminal looking to steal your identification or tax refund.

Typically, the IRS will send a taxpayer a letter through the United States Postal Service specifying the matter the Service is reviewing. Depending on the size and type of tax liability, this letter may be followed up by a call from a Revenue Agent or Compliance Officer. When receiving a call, you should ask for the agent’s employee badge number, team unit, and fax number to verify their legitimacy.

In very rare instances, an IRS agent may make an unannounced visit to a taxpayer’s home or place of business to discuss taxes owed, collect on delinquent taxes or investigate why the business is falling behind on payroll tax deposits. However, any requests for payment will only be directed to the U.S. Treasury.

In addition to the above, you are reminded that the IRS will never:

  • Threaten you with a law enforcement arrest because of an outstanding tax debt;
  • Demand payment via wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or gift card;
  • Contact you through social media; or
  • Call about an unexpected tax refund.

Knowing the IRS’s correspondence procedures and remaining vigilant will help guard you against identity fraud and protect your personal financial information.

If you have questions about the authenticity of IRS correspondence that you’ve received, please contact Alan Goldenberg, Principal and Leader of the Tax Controversy and State and Local Taxation groups, or your Anchin Relationship Partner.