View our interactive tax map to see where you are in the tax process. It could help you navigate your way through the IRS.
If it’s from the IRS, the notice will have instructions on how to respond. If you want more details about your tax account, you can order a transcript. Also, review your notice or letter to see if there is a specific website link to visit for additional information. This is usually located at the end of the notice or letter.
If it’s from another agency, such as a state tax department, you’ll need to call that office for an explanation.
If the letter is from the Department of the Treasury Bureau of the Fiscal Service, these notices are often sent when the IRS takes (offsets) some or part of your tax refund to cover another, non-IRS debt. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service only facilitates the transfers of the refund between IRS and the agency that the balance is owed to — it won’t have information about your IRS account or where the money is being sent.
If you disagree with the notice, call the IRS at the toll-free number on the top right corner of your notice. Please have your paperwork (such as cancelled checks, amended return, etc.) ready when you call. See also Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest If You Don’t Agree.
If you can’t pay the full amount by the due date, you need to figure out what payment options might work for your situation, and contact the IRS to set up a payment plan or discuss other ways to address your balance.
Being proactive in addressing the tax debt may prevent additional penalty and interest charges and eliminate the need for the IRS to take action to collect the balance. For specifics, see I got a notice from the IRS.
If you believe you have an acceptable reason for interest or a penalty to be abated or reduced, you may complete Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement, or send a signed statement to the IRS explaining your reasons. For specific instructions, see Notice 746, Information About Your Notice, Penalty and Interest.
If you believe you have overpaid your taxes, you can file a refund claim asking for the money back; however, there are specific time frames in which you must file your claim. For more information, see Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund.
It’s helpful to know what your options are to address your tax debt.
IRS.gov has resources for understanding your notice or letter.
Browse common tax issues and situations at Get Help on the TAS website.
If your IRS problem is causing you financial hardship, you’ve tried repeatedly and aren’t receiving a response from the IRS, or you feel your
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.