Here’s the best way to deal with certified mail from the IRS
by: Anthony Parent
Chances are, you weren’t home when the post office attempted to deliver a certified or letter from the IRS. Chances are, a pink slip was left for you in your mailbox. You might be holding that pink slip in your hand right now. It might be a little sweaty. You might be wondering — Is this bad? Is this good? Is this no big deal?
You might question - Am I going to be arrested? Should I pick up the letter? What happens if I do? What happens if I don’t?
You probably are very concerned - so read on as we answer as many great questions we can.
A letter from the IRS is serious business. It is a big deal.
First, we wish we could say “Relax, this is no big deal.” But the truth is a certified letter from the IRS could mean your case is about to start receiving the utmost attention from a very aggressive tax regime. The reason is that the IRS has too many taxpayers and too few officers, agents and employees, so they have to really pick and choose whom they go after.
A certified letter could mean the IRS has finally gotten around to choosing you.
And you probably don’t feel so lucky right about now.
It gets worse - you can't expect the IRS to follow the law
Nina Olsen is the National Taxpayer Advocate. It is her job to investigate how the IRS is working (or not). and make a report to Congress. She just made one in June of 2019. Her words are heart-dropping, but just are just given lip-service to by Congress. The IRS continues to hit the the easy, small targets while shying away from the big ones - leaving normal every day people who go in unprotected with the IRS completely devastated by the ruthless indifference of the world’s most powerful bureaucracy.
Do not expect the IRS to be fair. At all. You have to make your own fairness. To paraphrase Mark Twain, love your country but do not trust your government.
And right now you might be thinking how wonderful it would be to have someone who is 100% on your side. Someone who knows the technicalities, the trip wires, the loopholes and how to beat the IRS at their own game. But hang on - we'll get to that - as there is more you really might want to know.
Is a certified a letter from the IRS bad?
Probably. Congress requires the IRS to send you a certified letter before they levy or garnish you. It also can happen before the IRS files a lien or assigns a Revenue Officer to visit you, unannounced at your home or business.
Is a certified letter from the IRS good?
If you were in an audit you feel went well, it could be good news. But otherwise, it is probably not. When the IRS sends a refund it is done electronically or, they send a check first class mail. Refunds are not typically sent certified.
What happens if I pick up the letter?
You will find out what tax years the IRS claims you owe, and other information. Also, you will also find out what appeal rights you have. The appeals right are very important. Just as you can imagine - we often get the best deal for our clients with IRS appeals. We like it when our clients share these certified letters and notices with us during our first call so we can see exactly what is going on.
What happens if I don’t pick up the letter?
If you don’t pick up a certified letter to the IRS, it is basically saying you agree with everything the IRS says. Your silence will be used against you. Your silence will be interpreted as “Yes, IRS you are right. Everything you say is right. Therefore, do whatever you want to me, whenever you want to do it to me.”
So really - make sure you get that letter.
Does a certified letter from the IRS mean I am going to be arrested?
Probably not. And probably highly unlikely. The reason is that once a case turns criminal, the IRS typically suspends the civil collections process.
Seeking much-needed protection from the IRS?
We do possess intensely strong abilities - we tame IRS issues effectively. We invite you to contact us to schedule a time to talk.