For most Maryland residents, the idea of taxes becomes important once or twice each year, then it moves to the background again. Following filing though, a few people in the state can expect letters from the Internal Revenue Service. Getting a letter from the IRS is often a stress-inducing event, but it does not have to be. Indeed, on average, less than seven people out of a thousand will be audited. There are other reasons the IRS might contact a taxpayer after returns are filed.
If a person has overpaid, for example, the IRS will send a notice once the overage has been applied to other amounts owed. Another non-audit reason the IRS may contact a taxpayer is if there is information that is mismatched. If the interest reported by the taxpayer is different than the amount reported by the taxpayer’s brokerage or bank, the IRS will send a notice to inform the taxpayer of the mistake. The IRS may also send notices if a W-2 is missing or if items have been left blank.
Communications from the IRS should always be taken seriously. A taxpayer should notify his or her accountant or attorney if a notice is received. Individuals who prepared their own tax filings should contact a professional if they receive a notice from the IRS.
In a case where a person receives a notice from the IRS, whether the notice is of an audit or otherwise, an attorney may be able to help. An attorney with experience in tax law may be able to draft and file documents to move the case forward or communicate with government officials on the client’s behalf.