Aside from being summoned for Jury Duty, receiving a “love letter” from IRS is possibly the worst kind of mail anyone can receive. Here are seven quick tips on how to survive getting a notice from the IRS this Valentine’s Day:

  1. Don’t Panic. Everyone gets mail from the IRS sooner or later. Most letters are automated letters sent by a computer program, not by an actual person.
  2. Check the Date on the letter. It is very important to know the date because most IRS letters are Time Sensitive. Somewhere else in the letter it will tell you how many days you have to respond to the notice.
  3. Check the Period listed. An IRS notice will clearly tell you which tax return and year they are asking about. You need to know what return to look at.
  4. Read the body of the letter. They should explain why you are receiving the letter. Here are some examples of why IRS sends letters:
    • You forgot to include income on your return.
    • There was a discrepancy between the information you listed and what was reported by your employer or organization.
    • The IRS did not receive your return or did not receive a payment.
    • You underpaid the return and they are asking for payment.
  5. If you disagree with the notice or have questions, there should be a number on the far-upper-right corner of the return that you can call. Have a copy of your tax return and the notice nearby when you call.
  6. Remember the emphasis on Time Sensitive. Either you need to contact the IRS by the deadline or you need to share it with your accountant or tax preparer well before that date to have them respond. Don’t miss your window to respond.
  7. Request an account transcript online at if you want a line by line list of what happened with your return. Sometimes this can be useful if you’re trying to determine what IRS has on file or if IRS didn’t receive one of your payments.
  8. For additional help, please contact Clergy Financial Resources at (763) 425-8778.
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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.

Clergy Financial Resources
11214 86th Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Tel: (888) 421-0101 
Fax: (888) 876-5101


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