Have you received a 30-day letter from the IRS Letter 915? If so, it means you recently underwent an audit and now owe taxes. While not the most pleasant news, it is important to open the letter and respond promptly.
Why? Because at the time of receiving the letter, you still have options. If you disagree, you can appeal the amount owed and make your case with the appeals officer. However, your time to do so is limited to 30 days. Being so, here is more on IRS 30-Day-Letters and how to respond.
How to respond to a 30-Day IRS Letter 915
Follow these steps:
- First, read through the letter in full. Be sure you completely understand what is being stated.
- Determine if you agree with the proposed deficiency.
- If you agree, sign the “Consent Page” and mail it in. The letter will include directions on where to mail it and what to include. Note, by agreeing to a proposed deficiency you are accepting liability. You will be required to make the payment and any associated penalties and interest.
- If you disagree, you have the right to appeal. The 30-Day IRS letter 915 will include directions on how to do so. You can call the IRS at the number on the notice or send a correspondence via mail or fax which explains your argument.
- After sending an appeal, the IRS may accept your proposed changes or make schedule another audit.
The key to the notice, and why it is nick-named as it is, is because you only have 30 days to respond to the auditor. Afterward, you will receive a Notice of Deficiency stating that you owe the proposed amount. Then you will have 90 days to appeal to the Tax Court if you disagree.
Questions about other IRS letters or notices? Check out our definitive guide.
What if you can’t pay the proposed deficiency?
If you realize that you owe the amount on the 30-Day IRS Letter 915 but don’t think you can pay it, payment arrangements are available.
The IRS offers both short-term (less than 120 days) and long-term (120 days or more) payment plans. This can enable you to pay off your balance over an extended period. However, setup fees may apply. Further, penalties and interest will continue to be added to the amount you owe until it is paid in full.
An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is another option which is available for those who can’t pay the amount and their basic living expenses. Instead, you come to an agreement with the IRS to pay a reduced amount which will resolve your tax liability. The IRS will generally only accept OICs if it is the most they are likely to get from a taxpayer due to their financial situation.
You may also be able to delay collection efforts temporarily if a payment would cause a hardship.
Get help from a tax expert
If you’d like to learn more about tax debt management and the best option for you, you can contact a Tax Relief Firm. They specialize in helping taxpayers to settle their debt and move on with life. Further, they are experts who know the ins and outs of the system. If you are facing an overwhelming tax debt, check out the firms below.
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.