Don’t panic if the IRS sends you a letter

There are many reasons why the Internal Revenue Service could be contacting you. Some contacts involve very minor corrections; some are for serious changes that could involve a lot of money. Sometimes the IRS is correct in what they are seeking; sometimes they are wrong.

An IRS notice can be something as simple as a correction to a social security number or as significant as a billing for more taxes, plus interest and penalties.

So, what should you do if you get a letter from the IRS?

Here is a list of do’s and don’ts concerning contact from the IRS.

* Don’t panic, but don’t ignore the notice; the problem will not go away.

* Act promptly. A quick response to the IRS may eliminate further, more complicated correspondence.

* Follow the instructions in the IRS notice. Any correspondence you have with the IRS must make reference to the specific notice you are addressing.

* If you agree with the IRS adjustment, you do not need to do anything unless a payment is due.

* If the IRS is requesting more money or a significant amount of new information, be sure to contact your tax preparer immediately.

* Always provide your tax preparer with a copy of any IRS notice, regardless of how minor it appears to be.

* Keep a copy of all the IRS correspondence with your tax return copy for the year in question.

If you would like more information or assistance with any tax matter, please contact our office. We are here to help you.

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today’s small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it.

Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission.

Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations.

She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor and their dog, Davis.

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