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The Internal Revenue Service sent you a notice. Now what?

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service sends millions of notices and letters to taxpayers throughout the country. While some of these are minor, others are much more serious.

But here is something you need to remember: You should never ignore an IRS notice. If you receive a letter from the IRS, you need to read it in full, determine what is being asked of you and decide what to do next.

Here are some additional tips to follow:

-- Don't panic. Instead of getting upset and wondering what's to come, read the letter and follow the instructions. The IRS will tell you what to do.

-- Understand that there are many reasons for a notice. Some notices are more serious than others, but you won't know what's going on until you read the letter in its entirety.

-- You may not have to visit a local office or call the IRS. Most of the time, you can respond to a letter by mail.

-- Keep copies of all correspondence. No matter what you do next, be sure to keep accurate records.

Maybe the IRS is requesting nothing more than a minor change to your tax return. Of course, you could also be facing a more serious situation, such as being accused of not paying income taxes for one or more years.

If you receive an IRS notice, you should never panic. At the same time, you should not wait to learn more about what's going on. You could be facing a serious situation that could get worse if you don't take the right steps.

Source: IRS, "If You Receive an IRS Notice, Here’s What to Do," accessed May 20, 2016

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