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Understanding Your IRS Letter

The IRS will send an IRS letter if:

  • You have a balance due.
  • You are due a larger or smaller refund.
  • We have a question about your tax return.
  • We need to verify your identity.
  • We need additional information.
  • We changed your return.
  • We are notifying you of delays in processing your return.

Find a description of your correspondence by searching below.
Visit the IRS official tool for checking letter information. Click here.

IRS LetterWhen you receive correspondence from the IRS:

Report phishing if your correspondence looks suspicious.
The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail or social media to ask for personal or financial information. Please visit our Report Phishing page if you receive correspondence that looks suspicious and was designed to appear as though it came from the IRS. You can also call 1-800-829-1040.

Read the entire notice or letter carefully.
Typically, the IRS will only need a response if you don’t agree with the information, we need additional information, or you have a balance due. If we changed your tax return, compare the information we provided in the Notice or Letter with the information in your original return. If we receive a return that we suspect is identity theft, we will ask you to verify your identity using the web address provided in the letter.

Respond within the required timeframe.
If the IRS ask for a response within a specific timeframe, you must respond on time to minimize additional interest and penalty charges or to preserve your appeal rights if you don’t agree.

Pay as soon as possible.
Pay as much as you can, even if you can’t pay the full amount you owe. You can pay online or apply for an Online Payment Agreement or Offer in Compromise. Visit our payments page for more information.

Contact us by phone if you have a question or you disagree.
We provide our contact phone number on the top right-hand corner of our correspondence. Be sure you have your tax return and any related documentation available when you call. You can also write to us at the address in the correspondence to explain why you disagree. If you write, allow at least 30 days for our response.

Keep a copy of all correspondence with your tax records.


Where can I find my notice or letter number?
The notice (CP) or letter (LTR) number is located on the top right hand corner of your correspondence.

What if my correspondence isn’t listed on this page?
The IRS will continue to add more correspondence to our website. If your notice or letter isn’t listed on this page and you have questions, call us at the number on the top right-hand corner of your correspondence.