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I received a notice from the IRS. What do I do now?

We’ve all heard that in life two things are inevitable: death and tax.  Therefore, you may see taxes like many others do in the United States: you do not like them, but you pay them.  So each year you gather up your W-2s, mortgage statement, evidence of deductibles, and other miscellaneous documentation.  You bring all that (possibly in a shoebox) to your accountant, he helps you fill out the various forms and gets your signature, and you send in your return to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), along with your payment if you happen to owe taxes that year.

The process for filing your taxes may work pretty much like or similar to the above—like clockwork every year—but this year, something is different.  You’ve received something in the mail from the IRS, and it’s not a refund check.  Instead, it’s a letter.  You’ve never received a letter from the IRS before, so your mind immediately begins to wonder: why did the IRS send me a letter?  Did I do something wrong or illegal?

Before you jump to such a conclusion, take a few moments to relax and remember that there are a large number of reasons the IRS sends out letters to taxpayers.  While some of the reasons may mean a little bit of work on your part, they are generally not serious or because you’ve done anything “wrong” from a legal standpoint.

Once you’ve taken a few moments to relax, there are several ways you can understand why you received a notice from the IRS:

Read the Letter. You may be surprised to find that the letter is straightforward.  The letter likely gives a clear reason (in plain words you can understand) why the IRS sent you the letter and what they expect you to do as a result.

Look up the Reason. Notices from the IRS often include a reference code, which you can look up at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96199,00.html to see more information about the reason for the letter.

Call the IRS. The IRS has a toll-free assistance number, 1-800-829-1040, that you can call between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with any questions you have about the letter.

Once you understand what the IRS wants you do to, you can begin to take action.  In some situations, you may realize that the action you need to take is not something you know how to do, or you may believe that the IRS’ request or position is not correct.  In that case, where can you turn for help?  The answer is likely a tax attorney.

How can a tax attorney help you respond to the IRS?

A tax attorney will be able to objectively answer any questions you may have and give you the help you need in taking the appropriate action to address the IRS’ request.  Whether it is simply providing additional information to the IRS, negotiating through the IRS’ available payment options such as an offer in compromise because you owe an additional balance, or proving that you are in the right when the IRS believes otherwise, a tax lawyer will have the experience and training necessary to guide you through the process.

If you complete the short form at http://www.offerincompromiselawyer.com/Tax-Relief.php, a trained tax professional will evaluate your situation free of charge and without further obligation to you.  This evaluation is 100% confidential, so there is every reason to get help today in working with the IRS.