How to Write a Letter to the IRS in 2022

how to write a letter to the irs

The IRS is one of the most feared federal agencies. They send letters and information for a variety of reasons. Each IRS notification that requires a response contains essential information about what you must give as well as a mailing address.

You can also write the IRS to seek a tax reduction, provide missing information, or appeal a verdict.

Therefore, you need to learn how to write a letter to the IRSS.

Remember to include all the necessary information and to preserve a copy of the letter for your records.

Stay with us as we explain how to write a letter to the IRS.

Why did the IRS notify me?

These are the reasons IRS sends notices and letters;

  • You have a balance due.
  • The person is due for a refund.
  • There is a question about your tax return that needs an answer.
  • Your identity needs to be verified.
  • IRS needs additional information.
  • IRS changed your return.
  • There is a notification of delays in processing your return.

See also: How to Sign a Business Letter in 2023 | How it Works

What Type of Letter can I write to the IRS?

The IRS accepts a variety of letters

  • Letter of Request/Appeal Letter
  • Requesting an abatement
  • Responding to a Request for Information/Explanation

Remember to maintain the correct business letter structure and keep on track.

General Instructions on How to Write to the IRS

According to Success Tax Relief, while writing to the IRS, you should write the facts, be polite, avoid adopting an aggressive tone, and avoid being fearful. 

If you haven’t paid your taxes or mistakenly omitted information, you should explain your position calmly, provide your entire and honest cooperation, and propose a solution. 

If you are cash-strapped and unable to make a payment, figure out a payment plan with the IRS that fits your budget. 

Truthfully, the IRS agent is not out to get you if you obey the law.

Before contacting the IRS via mail or letter, go to their website. 

It offers a knowledge base with answers to frequently asked questions, a “Contact IRS” section with contact information via mail, phone, and email, and other places that may help you solve your issue or simplify your engagement.

Here is how to write a letter to the irs.

Writing the Letter to the IRS

IRS sends notices to individuals, and this demands that you respond. Therefore, if you are responding to an IRS letter, include the department name, reference number, date, and subject line. Include this information at the top of your response. 

Identify the relevant IRS division for your complaint at the beginning of your letter, such as “Individual Tax Payer.” 

After that, add a subject line for your difficulty, such as “Unable to pay late taxes.” Keep it short, ideally to one line.

To complete your contact information, provide your name or company name after your Social Security number or tax identification number.

You may start your letter with an anonymous “Dear Sir,” or you can skip the greeting and go right to the point.

The Body of the Letter

The majority of your conversation should take place here. This is where you will reply to the notice. While describing your position, be as detailed as possible. Provide dates for the conditions and any additional supporting documents as needed.

Do not write the response directly on the notice page unless the IRS explicitly identifies a spot for your answer and advises you to use that area.

Describe your problem clearly and in the first person in the body of the letter. 

As an example:

I am unable to pay my back taxes because I am jobless.

If possible, provide a prospective solution, such as: “I would like to request a six-month extension. If I get a job, which I believe I will, I will be able to pay off the remaining balance within six months.”

You should not provide attachments such as a separate letter or copies of previously filed tax returns with the IRS. Attach the proper form, filled out and signed, and any relevant documents that have changed after your first submission if required. 

For instance, this is applicable if you want to file an amended or corrected return. 

If your contact information has changed, provide a phone number. When the IRS has a query, it often calls the filler. 

Politely end the letter.

See also: How Many Stamps to Mail a Letter in 2023 | Full Description

Send the letter

Make a copy of your letter and any attachments for your own records. If you’re responding to an IRS letter, put the address from the notice voucher in the return envelope window.

If you’re using your envelope, write the address from the notice on it. 

Importantly, if your letter does not get a response, use the addresses listed on the IRS website, which are split down by state. If you have not heard back from the organization after six weeks, contact them to confirm receipt of your letter.

Don’t be alarmed if no street address is provided; most IRS addresses contain a city, state, and nine-digit ZIP code. However, use the whole nine-digit ZIP code since the final four digits guarantee that your mail is delivered to the proper place.

If the IRS requires your response by a specified date, send your letter to a post office and purchase a certified mail receipt. The postmark on this receipt shows the date your letter was delivered. If the IRS challenges the date of your response, save this receipt with your documentation.

How to Write an Appeal Letter to the IRS

To write an appeal letter to the IRS, you need to be familiar with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. After this, the next step is to craft your appeal. 

Here is a helpful tip on how to write a letter of appeal to the IRS.

Don’t sign the IRS letter if you disagree with it.

The first step in the IRS appeal process is not immediately signing and returning your copy of the report. 

You have 30 days after getting the notification to lodge a written protest stating your concerns about the IRS’s decision.

Create a proper protest letter that includes all relevant details.

It is critical, like with any letter, to provide all relevant information. If the IRS has all of the information, they will better understand the situation. 

You should explain why you disagree with the IRS’s tax audit results while being professional in your tone of speech.

According to the IRS, you should include the following information in your letter:

  • The taxpayer’s name, address, and contact information
  • A statement stating your intention to appeal the IRS’s decision to the Office of Appeals
  • The fiscal year in question
  • A list of the areas on which you disagree and the grounds for your disagreement
  • Facts to back up your claims
  • Every rule or authority relevant to your appeal
  • Use legal arguments and facts to support each issue you disagree with. Because the appeal involves a serious matter, legal arguments will be required to prove your position.

To establish credibility, it is best to begin the appeal with a surrender of already agreed-upon difficulties. Your appeal should highlight the contested issues and present evidence to support them. Include backup documents that the IRS may want to look through.

Give generously when giving statistics to support your legal claims since your goal is to win on paper.

Simplify Letter

It is better to keep the letter simple and short than long and write things that can complicate you further.

Long letters may quickly lose the reader’s interest. This is true for almost all letters, but since this one is to the government, it is critical to creating a clear, simple statement. 

The IRS may evaluate the authenticity of your objection using an appeal letter that includes all relevant facts.

See also: How Much Does it Cost to Send a Letter | Full Guide

Make a clear and understandable structure for your remarks.

If you follow an ordered, logical flow in your appeal letter, it will be easier to read and help the Office of Appeals employees understand your case more quickly.

End with the penalty of perjury statement

A sworn declaration is a statement made under penalty of perjury. This sentence contains evidence from a court of law. It is comparable to an affidavit except that it is neither witnessed nor signed by a representative.

The statement should read thus; “Under the penalties of perjury, I declare that the facts stated in this protest and any accompanying documents are true, correct, and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief.”

Don’t forget to sign your name under penalty of perjury.

Check your letter for mistakes.

This is a crucial step when writing a letter to the IRS. Reviewing the contents again ensures that you have included all necessary material to support your appeal. You’ll need to employ acceptable language and vocabulary, so make some changes to clarify your point.

These are the steps on how to write a letter to the IRS.

How Do I Write an IRS Letter of Explanation?

Anyone who has to explain to an income tax official that they have a very solid case for their income and wish to explain some unexpected behaviour on their taxes from the previous year may submit a letter explaining their reasons.

If you want to seek a reduction in any fines issued against you for erroneous tax filing, the IRS should also obtain a letter of explanation from you. 

You must follow a different format if this was your first infraction or a repeat offence. 

Furthermore, depending on how grievous the offence is, you will need to write in a different context. There is another way to structure your letter seeking a longer-than-one-year abatement.

Depending on your needs, numerous samples are available for you to consider and utilize as a reference when drafting a letter of explanation to the IRS. 

Request for ABATEMENT

An abatement is a request for a reduction in penalty. This is often the point at which you realize the IRS’s decision was correct and you were erroneous.

The most common decrease is the first-time penalty abatement. You may be qualified if, in the last three years, you have:

You filed all of your tax returns on time.

have not previously been punished

have paid all of your owed taxes or have made plans to do so

Calling the IRS is the best method for requesting a first-time penalty abatement. They may verify your eligibility right away.

See also: How Much Does it Cost to Mail a Letter | Country Guide

A letter example for a first-time penalty abatement

If a person can meet certain conditions, the IRS will give a first-time penalty abatement if they cannot pay, submit, or deposit their taxes. 

Here’s a sample letter to assist you in understanding how to write a letter of explanation if you feel you could be qualified in such situations.

Avoid making any changes to the letters, but ensure that your explanations are presented rather than just repeating them directly from this website.

This is how to write a letter of abatement to the IRS.

Sample of an abatement letter

[Lettered at the beginning]

Internal revenue service

Penalty abatement coordinator

[Address indicated on the IRS notice you received]

Taxation period is ____, tax form number is.

Regulations: Request for administrative waiver of penalties under the FTA

[Taxpayer(s) Name(s)]

[The address of the taxpayer(s)]


Time format: MM/DD/YYYY

To whom it may concern.

[I/ we am/ are] writing this letter to request the failure to [file/ pay/ deposit] penalty on [my/ our] tax records be abated based on IRM 20. 1. 1. 3.6. 1 that discusses rules for RCA and first-time abate administrative waiver. This is regarding the [specific] amount levied on [me/ us] as a penalty.

Because [I/we] meet the requirements mentioned below, [I/we] believe [I/we] are eligible for this penalty waiver.

Complaint regarding filing: [I/We] had no pending tax return requests or abatements and had filed all required returns and extensions.

Three years with no tax penalties: [I/We] have paid our taxes on time for the last three years without incurring any tax penalties.

Payment complaint: [I/We] have paid all of [my/our] tax obligations to date, or we have set up payment plans with which [I/We] are current.

Thanks for your consideration.

If [my/our] section requires more clarification or explanation, please call [me/us] at [my/our] phone number [insert your phone number here].


Names of everyone applying with you, including yourself

[End of Letter]

See also: How to Start a Letter Without Dear | Samples & Guide

Accusing the IRS of Being Wrong

If you believe the IRS is in a mistake, you have the right to provide proof. You’ll have to determine how to respond depending on the scenario’s complexity.

1099 difficulties are often rather simple. Here are a few common examples.

I received a CP2000 letter saying that I failed to incorporate income on Form 1099-NEC. The 1099-NEC was not necessary since this revenue was previously reported on Form 1099-K. Here are documentation from the payment processor that created the 1099-K attesting to payments received from the 1099-NEC-issuing company.

A CP2000 notice notified me that I had failed to input Form 1099-K revenue. They were private transactions rather than taxable revenue. The funds came from relatives repaying me for their proportional share of the cost of our vacation, which I had planned.


Responding to the IRS may not be as tough as you assume. Explain the issue and include any supporting paperwork, such as financial records.

Many individuals choose to contact the IRS on their own. If you have difficult or potentially expensive tax issues, seek the advice of a tax specialist.

When a letter to the IRS is properly addressed, it is delivered to the relevant division and receives a fast response. Clarify your communication’s subject, identify yourself or your firm, mention any IRS communications, describe your issue(s) in numbered points, and add any relevant attachments.

Irrelevant attachments may cause your response to be delayed. These requirements apply to physical letters and emails and forms filed via the IRS website.



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