Randolph Law Firm, P.C.

Certified mail from the IRS may contain important notices

After a taxpaying citizen of Nevada or another state files his or her personal income tax returns, there is the possibility of receiving communication from the Internal Revenue Service that may deal with one or more of a variety of potential issues. If the IRS letter was sent to you by certified mail, it is likely that it contains a date certain for which you must take action or provide information. In that case, it is self-defeating to refuse to sign for the IRS certified mail.

The certified letter may be a Notice of Deficiency. An individual has 90 days to file a petition in the United States Tax Court to challenge the determination of a deficiency. Failure to pick up certified mail from the IRS may result in a suspension of the individual's legal protections.

More ominous certified letters may be dealing with collection matters after a deficiency has been assessed. The IRS is first required to send a Final Notice of Intent to Levy, advising the individual that he or she has 30 days to respond by filing a Request for a Collection Due Process Hearing with the IRS. Where the taxpayer files that request for a due process hearing, the IRS cannot take further action.

During that period, the IRS cannot attempt a collection until the due process hearing is held. It may, however, send out a Notice of Federal Tax Lien during that interim period. If an agreement with the IRS cannot be achieved at the due process hearing, the agency must send to the individual a Determination Letter by certified mail, giving 30 days to challenge the determination in Tax Court.

When the individual is sent a Notice of Federal Tax Lien by certified mail, taxpayer protections are suspended if one does not respond within 30 days. A similar procedure applies to other communications. Therefore, it makes little or no sense for a taxpaying citizen of Nevada or another state to take a position of ignoring certified mail from the IRS.

Source: bizjournals.com, "How Houston businesses can decipher letters from the IRS", George Connelly, June 25, 2015

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