Certified mail allows the sender (in this case, the IRS) to have proof that they mailed the notice to you. The IRS is required to send certain types of IRS letters or IRS notices by certified mail – often, the most serious IRS notices are sent this way because the IRS needs proof that they gave you notice before they take action against you.
For example, if the IRS is planning to seize your assets to pay for taxes that are owed, they may send a Notice of Intent to Levy via certified mail. If you do not respond within 30 days, they can take action to seize your assets. Examples of other important IRS Notices that are sent by certified mail include a Notice of Federal Tax Lien and a Notice of Deficiency.
The important takeaway is that if the IRS has sent you certified mail, it likely concerns an issue that could significantly impact your rights. You should take the letter very seriously; do not ignore it!
What can you do when you receive certified mail from the IRS?
Here are three steps you can take when you receive certified mail from the IRS:
First, read the IRS letter promptly and carefully. Look for an indication of why the IRS sent the letter, what they want from you in response to the letter, and the deadline they have given you to respond. Deadlines can be very important for IRS issues. There are some IRS deadlines that have hard and fast deadlines that, by law, cannot be extended, and missing them may cause you to lose important rights.
Second, respond to the IRS’ request by the deadline. Your response will vary depending on what the IRS is asking for, and whether you agree with what they provide in the notice. For a discussion of various IRS letters, see here.
Third, keep copies of everything! We cannot stress enough how important this is. We have had clients send in voluminous amounts of data that took many hours to complete, only to have the IRS lose it. If the IRS loses your documents and you do not have a copy, you will need to recreate them – the IRS does not take responsibility for losing documents. Further, it is very important to keep copies of every IRS letter or notice, every response you make, and proof of the date of your response. If you respond electronically, keep the electronic confirmation. If you mail documents to the IRS, mail them such that they can be tracked, and keep the tracking information.
In summary, if you receive certified mail from the IRS or any mail from the IRS, do not ignore it, and respond by the deadline. The IRS won’t go away, and if you ignore the letter you could be hurting your own rights.
If you are not sure why the IRS sent you the certified mail, or how to respond, contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation.
Receiving Communications from the IRS? Komor Tax Law Can Help
Komor Tax Law LLC will explain why the IRS sent you mail, how we would respond to the letter, and what actions the IRS may be planning against you. Often, time is of the essence and a prompt reply is needed. Don’t wait – contact us today if you have received letter-based communications from the IRS.