It’s never that exciting to talk about the IRS when it is not tax filing season (and it’s not even that exciting then) but I did think it was worth nothing that the agency appears set to resume sending collection notices that it suspended more than a year ago as it caught up on a backlog of tax returns. Exactly when this will resume is unclear, but it is another of those return-to-normal moments that we started to really see during this past tax filing season.
So what does this actually mean for you?
Well, it means that if you get a notice from the IRS, it deserves your attention. There was a time during the COVID pandemic when notices were being received but they did not actually mean anything. If your return was just in the pile of the agency’s backlog waiting to be processed, it was a very real possibility that you did not owe what these notices said you owed. Once your return was actually processed, things would be caught up, and it would be as if the notices never happened.
Now when they happen, they mean something.
But what should you do if one is received?
This largely depends upon what the notice is saying. If it is a notice saying that you did not file a tax return, then the first question is whether or not you did actually file that return. If you did, then you need to take action with the agency or your tax preparer to find out what happened to it. If you did not, well, then you probably knew this was a possibility and the sooner that you get on it the better, for you can start alleviating some of the pain added by penalties and interest.
If you are getting a notice that says you owe a balance to the IRS, your action can again largely depend upon whether you knew you owed this or not. If you do owe and a payment was missed for whatever reason, well, then yes, you still owe this money. If you didn’t know that you owed this, this could again be a time to contact the agency or your tax preparer to figure out where it is coming from.
No matter what, the point is that the answers now are that you should not ignore these notices. The proper response is no longer going to be “just wait.” But if you don’t know what to do from there, remember that as always you can reach out to us and we will do what we can to steer you in the right direction.
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