When you receive a letter or notice from the IRS, realize that it is not junk mail. It is not like the common cold. It wil not just go away. Read the notice and determine what the issue is. It may not be clear to you but a cursory reading will disclose the issue and the related tax year. Once you review the notice, you know what you are dealing with and can take the next step.
Compare the Notice to Your Records
If your notice is related to the 2010 tax year, you will probably need to have a copy of the return to research the issue. You likely have a file with both your return and the supporting documentation for income reported and deductions claimed. Do not assume that because you got a notice that you did something wrong or that you owe additional taxes. It is just as likely that you were right in your position as it is that the IRS is correct.
Respond to the Internal Revenue Service
Make sure that you address the issue with the IRS. If it is something that you do not understand, call a CPA or an attorney because either can act on your behalf with a power of attorney signed by you, the taxpayer. The IRS can discuss and resolve the issue with the named party. If the error was in fact yours, they can let you know how to correct it either by paying additional tax or providing additional information.
Persist Until You Receive Notice of Resolution
No matter what the issue, big or small, it must be resolved. Resolution will only come when the correct information is provided to the correct department. It is easy to throw up your hands and walk away but remember that the IRS will not. Be persistant. Your tax professional will help you.
An IRS notice not dealt with will lead to problems. The IRS can place liens on your house, freeze your bank accounts and seize your property. If you face the issue head on, you will save yourself time, money and you will rest more peacefully.