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You've Got Mail . . . From the IRS!

Tax Advice: Open Your Mail

Ok, it happened. You received a letter from the IRS. And it is probably not a love letter or a note thanking you for your latest tax payment. Take a deep breath; it probably isn't as bad as you think.

You certainly are not alone. The IRS sends out millions of notices each year for a wide variety of reasons.

The IRS website lists a number of reasons why the IRS may send you a notice:

  • You have a balance due.
  • You are due a smaller or larger refund.
  • The IRS has a question about an item on your tax return.
  • The IRS needs to verify your identity.
  • The IRS needs additional information.
  • The IRS made changes to your tax return.
  • The IRS is notifying you of delays in processing your tax return.

Take a deep breath; it probably isn’t as bad as you think.

Every IRS notice has its own code located in the upper right of the document. Frequently these will be abbreviated "CP" (for computer paragraph) or "LT" for letter and will include a number after it. For example, "CP2000" is the code for a letter asking about unreported income.

Once you know what code appears on your IRS notice, you can go to and look up more details about why you may have received it. Pay particular attention to any notices that contain the codes LT11, 1058, or any notice mentioning a lien, levy, appeal, or Tax Court as these have specific time frames in which you must act.

In more than 80% of the cases we see, clients hand us unopened mail from tax agencies that they were afraid to open. Unfortunately, by not knowing the deadlines, clients often fail to come to us before some of their options expire. There are strict deadlines for responding to certain notices. If the instructions are confusing or if you need help responding to the notice, call us at (513) 245-4170 or contact us through our website. We deal with IRS notices everyday and we would be glad to help.