Steps for Dealing with an IRS Notice
There's no mail less welcome than an unexpected envelop with "Internal Revenue Service" printed in the upper left corner of the envelope. If you're reading this page, you probably didn't receive a notice telling you you're getting an unexpected refund. It's more likely that you're staring down a Notice of Examination or a CP2000 Notice telling you that the "income and/or payment information we have on file doesn’t match the information you reported on your tax return."
The first thing you should do after receiving a notice from the IRS is relax. If you've just received the notice and haven't received others in the past, chances are you have a window of time to respond. I'm not telling you to leave it sitting unopened on your kitchen table for the next week, but you at least have the time to take a few deep breaths and decide what to do. The good news is that the IRS's power is limited (believe it or not). They generally can't take your house, car or bank accounts without notice, and they probably aren't going to show up at your door and take you out in handcuffs. (If they did take you or a loved one our of the house in cuffs, you're going to need criminal tax defense pronto!)
You Have Options!
What the IRS will do is send you a notice, give you a specified time to respond (e.g. 30 days) and then wait for your response. If you don't respond to the first notice the IRS sends you, the IRS may send you another notice or take action against you, emptying your bank accounts, taking your tax refund, shutting down your business or some other unpleasantness.
Your second step after taking a few deep breaths should be to call a qualified professional to advise you about your rights and what the next steps will be after the notice. But don't take too long to call or you may lose rights that will signicantly improve your chances of getting a favorable resolution to your tax situation.