I have a certified letter from the IRS, should I go pick it up?

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YES, YES, YES!!!  I have clients ask me this question all the time.  My answer is always the same.  The IRS sends various types of letters out every day.  Some letters request information, some are for a balance due and sometimes the IRS may just be letting you know they need more time to process your return.
When you get a certified letter that usually means there is a problem and it needs to be addressed.  This is not the first letter the IRS sends for the particular situation.  The IRS may have sent out up to three or four letters trying to get the taxpayers attention.  When the taxpayer is unresponsive, the IRS gets to a point when the certified letter is sent.  Certified letters are usually date sensitive so they must be opened and read immediately.  The taxpayer has rights and some of these rights are affected by the dates on the certified letters.

An example of a certified letter you may receive from the IRS is the “Notice of Deficiency”.  This is often referred to as the 90-day letter.  The reason it is referred to as a 90-day letter is that you have 90 days from the date on the letter to file a case in tax court.  The 90 day period is set in stone and is not extended for weekends, holidays or any other reason.  If you miss the 90-day filing requirement, you lose out on the right to file a petition in tax court.  Now you may ask why is that a big deal, and the answer is that in order to file a petition in the district court you would first have to pay the tax.  To file a case in the tax court you are not required to pay the tax first.  Now if the tax is significant, and significant is different for everybody, that is a huge right you are losing to not pick up your mail.  If you would like to come by and visit about notices and letters you have received, give me a call.

 

Posted on November 23, 2015

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