The IRS uses letters to communicate with taxpayers about action they are taking or intend to take against taxpayers. Many taxpayers ignore these IRS letters, which can have severe consequences. The letters escalate in severity and taking action from one of the earliest letters can prevent an IRS problem from getting worse. The following letters serve as the most common IRS letters and show the progression for which they are typically sent.
- IRS Letter that Your Tax Return is Overdue. This IRS letter is sent to taxpayers who have not filed a tax return. This letter serves as notification to the taxpayer that the IRS has not received their tax return and that the IRS is giving the taxpayer an opportunity to file the tax return before the IRS files a substitute tax return for the taxpayer. Taking action with this first letter can essentially stop most IRS activity from going any farther.
- IRS Letter that is a Monthly Statement Reminder. This letter from the IRS is common. This letter serves as a notification that money is presumably owed to the IRS and is usually sent to taxpayers who are on a pay plan.
- IRS Letter that is a Reminder Notice. This letter from the IRS is also common. This letter serves as the first reminder that you owe money to the IRS.
- IRS Letter that is a Second Reminder Notice that includes spousal notification. This letter from the IRS notifies the spouse of a taxpayer that the tax return is overdue or there is a tax amount owed. It is commonly referred to as the “Spousal Letter.”
- IRS Letter that is a Notice of Amount Due. This letter from the IRS shows the amount of tax that is owed along with penalty and interest. This letter serves as notification to pay the tax amount owed.
- IRS Letter that states Important – Immediate Action is Required. This letter from the IRS is telling the taxpayer to not wait any longer to take care of their tax issue. This letter is typically the last reminder notice and serves as a prelude to the IRS Levy Notices.
- IRS Letter that states Urgent! We intend to Levy on Certain Assets. Please Respond Now. This letter from the IRS is the first warning sign that the IRS is getting ready to garnish a paycheck, disability check or social security check. This IRS letter also serves as the first notification that they plan to take funds from a bank account. This letter is typically an IRS Certified Letter sent by certified mail to the taxpayer. This Certified IRS Letter serves as a prelude to the Final Levy Notice. Taking action with this letter may prevent the IRS from taking funds.
- IRS Letter that states Call Immediately – Final Notice of Intent to Levy. This letter from the IRS is exactly what it says – Final! This IRS letter is the most important letter in which a response should be made. Taxpayers should not miss responding to this IRS Letter. There is a provision in this letter to request a Collection Due Process Hearing, which will stop all levies and garnishments until the hearing date. This letter can buy the taxpayer some time. The Collection Due Process Hearing allows the taxpayer to present an alternative to collections and prevent collection actions.
- IRS Letter that states Notice of Federal Tax Lien. This letter from the IRS serves as notification that a federal tax lien has been issued against the taxpayer and will remain until the tax debt is paid in full. This federal lien makes the money owed to the IRS a secured debt.
- IRS Letter that states a Notice of Levy on Wages, Salary and other Income. This letter from the IRS serves as notification that your paycheck or other type of check has been garnished. It also serves as notification that your bank account has been levied. When you receive this letter from the IRS it means that the money from your check or bank account is already gone.
The only things worse that getting a letter from the IRS is not responding to the Letter from the IRS. Please contact a Triage Tax Relief if you receive an IRS Letter as action should be taken with all IRS Letters.