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Old 08-02-2013, 08:31 PM
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Why would the IRS send me a certified letter?

So, I come home today to find an orange slip that says I missed a certified letter. Upon closer inspection I see that the letter is from the IRS The PO is closed now, so I have to wait until tomorrow morning to actually claim the letter.

In the meantime, I am looking for some reassurance (begging for reassurance, actually) that something super awful isn't lurking in that letter. I have tried looking for some information through google and everything I have read says that the IRS sends letters through regular mail before sending a certified letter out and also that certified letters are for collections. But I haven't received any other correspondence from them up until this point. Also, I filed a tax return this past February and owed them a measly $16.00, which I verified was deducted from my account.

I guess this could be regarding a past year's return. I am so anxious right now. Anyone have any experience with this?
Old 08-02-2013, 09:21 PM
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Answer to a similar question

Quote:
A certified letter is not the IRS start point. Whatever you have been ignoring in the past has now got to the point where you have to deal with it or it is guaranteed that bad things are going to happen to you.

IRS sends certified mail to tell you that your audit has ended up with you owing money and you have to either go to Tax Court within 90 days or your are going to get a bill OR you have a delinquent tax liability and if you don't promptly pay it or make other arrangement that are satisfactory to IRS it is going to collect the account by levy on your assets.

Source(s):

I am an enrolled agent, licensed by the Treasury Department to represent taxpayers the same as attorneys and CPAs. I specialize in representing taxpayers who owe a lot of back tax or unfiled returns. Your big mess is my ordinary day at the office. If you want additional help you can send email through my profile.
Old 08-02-2013, 09:22 PM
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At least they aren't knocking on your door.

Good luck, maybe it's nothing.
Old 08-02-2013, 09:24 PM
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Oh gosh, that is not good, astro. Except, I haven't been ignoring any correspondence from them. I am getting really scared now. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Old 08-02-2013, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Freakin' Back Is Killing Me View Post
Oh gosh, that is not good, astro. Except, I haven't been ignoring any correspondence from them. I am getting really scared now. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
I got a certified letter from the IRS once that said I made a mistake on one of my returns and they corrected it for me. I have no idea why it was certified. Don't go overboard until you see it.
Old 08-02-2013, 09:48 PM
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If your returns are fairly straightforward it may just be some deduction they have not allowed and you owe a bit more tax. Do you do your taxes yourself or do you have an accountant?

They probably want money but it could be just a modest amount. On the PITA end of the spectrum some returns will simply be randomly flagged for an audit just as a system check. The whys and wherefores of what makes this happen are not 100% clear in many cases.
Old 08-02-2013, 09:57 PM
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I'm with Fuzzy Dunlop on this one. Don't lose any sleep over it, it sounds like you've got your 'ducks in a row', and all that.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:00 PM
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Thanks for the good luck,TriPolar

Fuzzy Dunlop, I am hoping it is a small error of some sort. Thanks for the reassurance.

astro - I am young, I am single, no assets, retirement funds, I rent, so no home. I don't think I have anything but standard deductions. I use a 1040EZ. I do my taxes myself. I owed some money this year according to my calculations, but I paid it. I am not a high earner or anything. I am so nervous. I have no idea what could be going on. And everything I've read says the IRS uses certified mail as a last resort to contact you, but I have NEVER received anything from the IRS and have been living at this address for 3 years and have filed taxes here.

ETA: Thank you JBDivmstr I so hope you are right on this

Last edited by My Freakin' Back Is Killing Me; 08-02-2013 at 10:02 PM.
Old 08-02-2013, 10:19 PM
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There also this. Apparently they will send a cert letter even for minor amounts. If your scenario is as straightforward as you indicate the chances of it being anything serious are very low.

Quote:
For some reason IRS thinks that you owe money. It could be as little as 2 bucks. They will always send it certified. The computer just does it. Just go get it and see what it says. They might not agree with your taxes or they are saying you owe us 50 bucks. It will always come certified.

Last edited by astro; 08-02-2013 at 10:19 PM.
Old 08-02-2013, 10:23 PM
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I had the same missed mail notice one day, scared the bejeesus out of me until I could get to the PO the next day. The IRS was challenging a small stock option I had exercised. Turns out my company had not coded it correctly, and they the IRS thought I had not paid the appropriate tax. I had paid, and a single phone call and faxed copy of something cleared it up.
Old 08-03-2013, 12:17 AM
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:45 AM
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When the IRS said I owed another $2000 for last year's taxes thanks to a missing 1099-R, all of the correspondence from the original notice on down to acceptance of a payment plan was via normal mail.
Old 08-03-2013, 10:56 AM
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I owed some taxes from a few years ago and had to make a payment plan with the IRS, which involved a ridiculous amount of paper, sent to me in almost a dozen letters through regular mail. When I finally got a payment plan approved and set up, 2 months later I received a certified letter notice, that I had to drive a half hour to the post office to pick up, and it was a certified, 1 page letter from the IRS saying simply that the payment plan was set up.
Old 08-03-2013, 11:25 AM
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My Freakin' Back Is Killing Me--if you have a common first/last name combo, it could be a screw-up.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:13 PM
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::tapping foot, waiting for OP to get back from the post office::
Old 08-03-2013, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntiePam View Post
::tapping foot, waiting for OP to get back from the post office::
Me too. Don't know the OP at all but my curiosity has been poked.
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Last edited by leftfield6; 08-03-2013 at 01:40 PM.
Old 08-03-2013, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntiePam View Post
::tapping foot, waiting for OP to get back from the post office::
Welp, looks like the OP's in jail.
Old 08-03-2013, 07:28 PM
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Maybe it was one of those Inspector Gadget exploding letters. Poor OP
Old 08-03-2013, 10:49 PM
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Maybe the "IRS" on the notice actually meant the Iowa Racquetball School and the OP is now on the way to a new sports teaching gig in the Midwest.
Old 08-03-2013, 11:19 PM
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Maybe it's just that the OP's back is acting up.
Old 08-04-2013, 12:27 AM
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Sorry to leave you guys hanging. I picked up the letter and it was bad news; a problem with a previous years return. But not as scary as I thought.
Old 08-04-2013, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Freakin' Back Is Killing Me View Post
So, I come home today to find an orange slip that says I missed a certified letter. Upon closer inspection I see that the letter is from the IRS
I'd rather receive a dead fish wrapped in newspaper.

Sorry you're having a problem, hope it gets worked out without too much hassle.
Old 08-04-2013, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Freakin' Back Is Killing Me View Post
Sorry to leave you guys hanging. I picked up the letter and it was bad news; a problem with a previous years return. But not as scary as I thought.
You probably don't need to be told, but don't ignore it. I did, years ago, and the IRS attached my bank account. It turned out okay though. After the audit, the IRS owed me money.
Old 08-04-2013, 01:52 PM
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Also, just because THEY tell you it is an error in the their favor does not mean it is so. Received a similar letter and had an accountant look at my filing from that year and every year after. Cost me very little and he did find my mistake, in my favor. He answered the IRS, they agreed, and refunded a nice bit of money plus interest.

So, unless you absolutely sure the error the IRS identified is correct, you may wish to have a disinterested party take a look.
Old 08-04-2013, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
I'd rather receive a dead fish wrapped in newspaper.
Mmmm.....sushi.
Old 08-05-2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howye View Post
Also, just because THEY tell you it is an error in the their favor does not mean it is so. Received a similar letter and had an accountant look at my filing from that year and every year after. Cost me very little and he did find my mistake, in my favor. He answered the IRS, they agreed, and refunded a nice bit of money plus interest.

So, unless you absolutely sure the error the IRS identified is correct, you may wish to have a disinterested party take a look.
That's right. A few years ago I got a letter from the IRS saying I owed them some additional money. I was sure they made a mistake so I wrote them a detailed letter explaining exactly what I did and how I had followed their instructions precisely, and how their letter misunderstood my situation.

About six months later I got another letter saying that I was correct and now I did not owe them anything.
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