How to Interpret Your IRS Notice

As tax season approaches, businesses must prepare for the possibility of receiving notices from the IRS. To ensure that your company handles these notices effectively, it's essential to establish a systematic process for interpretation, response, and compliance.  


In this blog, we'll outline the steps for understanding IRS notices on a case-by-case basis, and introduce our comprehensive tax management software, NOTICENINJA, designed to streamline this process. 

Step 1: Thoroughly Review the Notice 

Upon receiving an IRS notice, begin by systematically reviewing the document, noting the following: 

  • Recipient information 
  • Dates and deadlines 
  • Type of notice and required action 
  • Determine if the notice requires immediate action or provides information 


Understanding the contents of the notice will enable you to decide whether swift action is necessary or if it can be managed according to your established procedures. Identifying the appropriate decision-maker for the response is also crucial. 


Step 2: Pay Attention to the Notice Type and Number 

After understanding the notice, focus on key details, specifically the notice type and number. This information is usually located in the upper right-hand corner, under recipient details. Familiarizing yourself with different notice types over time is valuable, and online resources can provide additional insights into each notice's specifics and response requirements. 


When communicating about the notice, make sure to include the notice type and number, which aids clarity and simplifies future audits. 


Step 3: Note Any Deadlines 

Deadlines provided in the notice are critical, as they indicate the urgency of your response. These deadlines might be explicitly stated in the message or follow a standardized window for responses. Always include the deadline in any communications related to the notice. 


Depending on your organization's notice management process, you may prioritize notices based on type or date. 


Step 4: Identify the Issue Addressed 

Determine if the notice is purely informational or if it requires a specific action, such as filing a new document or making a payment due to underpayment or penalties. It's good practice to document this information to prevent misunderstandings or delays in your response. 


Ensure a thorough review of the document to discern the necessary response(s) accurately. Incorrect or partial responses could lead to further complications. 


Step 5: Review Documents and Ensure Accuracy 

Compare the details on the notice (entity name, notice type and number, required response date, and account particulars) to ensure accuracy and relevance to your business. Mistakes can happen, and sometimes notices might not consider recent updates or actions already taken by your team. 


In case of inaccuracies, formally dispute the notice or contact the IRS for assistance. Ignoring an incorrect notice can result in continued notices and potential penalties. 


Additionally, cross-check the notice information with any email or document management records to catch any discrepancies. 


Step 6: Follow the Instructions or Seek Professional Assistance 

Ultimately, the right operator within your organization must complete the actions requested via a notice. This may include providing a revised or additional form, paying the (verified) fee or penalty, or following up with third-party tax accounting services. Sometimes, tax notices can be incredibly complex or require the payment of large sums of money. In these circumstances, it's best to work with a knowledgeable tax expert to ensure everything is handled properly. 


Managing IRS Notices with NOTICENINJA 

IRS notices are complex; managing them requires organized filing and processing systems. NOTICENINJA, our comprehensive tax management software, helps streamline this process by creating a well-defined workflow and documentation resource. Notice Ninja, Inc. specializes in software solutions for understanding IRS notices of all types. 


Contact us today to learn more about interpreting IRS notices and establishing efficient processes. Gain confidence in managing your IRS obligations with NOTICENINJA


New call-to-action