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Dealing with a notice from the IRS

In the weeks and months following the April deadline to file a federal tax return, the IRS verifies the data it receives and issues notices if needed. Georgia residents and others who receive a notice from the IRS should read it carefully and respond in a timely manner. Among the most common types of notices a person can get is a CP2000. It tells a taxpayer that the government has proposed a change to their tax return.

It is important to note that this is not a bill or an audit. However, if a person agrees to the change, he or she can sign and return the notice. If a person doesn't agree to the notice, a formal challenge to the proposed change can be sent within 30 days. It is possible that the IRS won't like the explanation, and that could lead to CP3219 being sent out.

At this point, individuals can either agree with the IRS assessment and make a payment. A taxpayer may also choose to wait for a formal bill or choose to dispute the assessment. Each notice will have a number that can be called in the event that a person has questions. The CP3219 form will have instructions as to how to make a payment or how to petition the U.S. Tax Court.

Those who fail to respond to an IRS notice could be assessed additional taxes, fees and interest. At some point, the agency might decide to compel payment by garnishing wages or putting liens on property. To avoid these consequences, it may be worthwhile to consult with a tax attorney. An attorney may be able to communicate with the government on the taxpayer's behalf, which might increase the odds of obtaining a favorable outcome.

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