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Do all IRS tax notices or letters require a response?

For any readers that doubt whether the Internal Revenue Service utilizes aggressive collection tactics, a webpage from the IRS' website is informative. Although entitled as a factual overview of the collection due process service, the information is not entirely neutral. Specifically, one paragraph encourages taxpayers to pay the disputed tax amount in full before requesting a refund.

As context, a collection due process procedure may be available to taxpayers who have received a notice of federal tax lien or levy. The process begins as an administrative one, where a taxpayer can request a hearing. If a disagreement remains after the hearing, a court filing may be available, to the extent that procedural deadlines were observed. The timeline typically begins within 30 days after receiving the notice. 

The entire process is explained more fully in IRS Publication 1660. However, the procedures can be complicated, especially with notices being sent to a taxpayer that are similar-sounding but implicate different deadlines. For that reason, I recommend that individuals consult with an attorney as early as possible in a tax dispute. An attorney that focuses on tax law understands the importance of responding to any kind of notification from the IRS in a timely and appropriate manner. 

There are over 100 notices and letters that the IRS sends to taxpayers regarding alleged tax deficiencies, audited returns, unpaid tax balances or other matters. Tax notices should be taken seriously and never ignored, in order to maximize the options available to a taxpayer. To learn more about the various options for responding to a tax notice, check out the various practice areas described on my website.

Source: Internal Revenue Service, “Collection Due Process (CDP) FAQs,” Nov. 19, 2014

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