The Internal Revenue Service can send notices or letters to you for various reasons. Typically, it’s about a specific issue with your tax return. However, not all communications from the IRS are cause for concern. One example is IRS Notice 1445, which is sent out to taxpayers as part of their usual correspondence. This letter lets you know that you can request language assistance services if English is not your first language.
Receiving a notice from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can make your heart skip a beat, since it usually indicates a problem with your taxes. Recently, numerous taxpayers have reported receiving an IRS Notice 1445, and many are wondering why these notices are landing in their mailboxes even though they’ve filed their taxes correctly and on time.
Thankfully, there’s no need to panic. IRS Notice 1445 is a relatively new notice that simply notifies taxpayers of their ability to receive tax help in languages other than English. In this article, we’ll further explain what this notice is and what steps you can take after receiving it.
What is IRS Notice 1445?
IRS Notice 1445 is a letter from the Internal Revenue Service informing taxpayers that they have the option to receive tax assistance in languages other than English. This notice has recently become a part of the Internal Revenue Service’s regular correspondence. Within the notice, taxpayers can find step-by-step instructions on how to access tax help in different languages.
IRS Notice 1445 vs. IRC Section 1445
Although IRS Notice 1445 shares a number with Internal Revenue Code Section 1445, they are completely unrelated to each other.
IRS Notice 1445 is a type of IRS correspondence that informs you of your ability to receive tax help in another language. IRC Section 1445, on the other hand, is one section among the thousands of numbered sections in the Internal Revenue Code — a tax code established by the United States federal government to provide taxpayers with information on how to prepare and file their taxes.
IRC Section 1445 states that a buyer of a domestic real property interest must withhold tax if the seller is a foreign person. It is not a letter you receive in the mail, as IRS Notice 1445 is.
Why would I receive IRS Notice 1445?
The IRS began sending Notice 1445 as a part of their regular correspondence to taxpayers. This means you don’t need to panic if you receive an IRS Notice 1445 — it simply informs you of your right to receive tax help in a different language. You can choose to take advantage of this help or simply ignore the notice.
What to do after receiving IRS Notice 1445
Unless you’d like to receive assistance with your taxes in a language other than English, you don’t need to take any action after you receive an IRS Notice 1445. You can simply ignore the letter and file your taxes as usual.
If you do require language assistance from the IRS, you can follow the instructions outlined in IRS Notice 1445 to request help in the language you need.
Languages the IRS offers support in
The IRS offers support in a variety of languages, depending on the service or information you need.
For general information on the IRS website, you can request help in the following languages:
- Chinese (Traditional & Simplified)
- Haitian Creole
For help with IRS Tax Form 1040 (Individualized Tax Return), as of 2023, you can only receive support in English or Spanish.
Assistance with IRS publication 17 (IRS Basic Guide To Federal Income Taxes) is available in the following languages:
- Chinese (Traditional & Simplified)
What if I need assistance in a language not listed?
If English is not your first language, on the IRS “languages” page, you can choose from 20 languages to help you navigate the tax filing process. Simply click on the language of your preference and the IRS will translate all the tax resources you need. Additionally, if you’d like to request written communications from the IRS in a different language, you can submit a Schedule LEP along with your tax return.
If your language is not included in the 20 language options offered by the IRS, consider seeking help from the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This program offers free basic tax return preparation assistance to qualified individuals, including limited English-speaking taxpayers. All VITA volunteers who help prepare tax returns have passed tax law training and have met or exceeded IRS standards. Before visiting a VITA site, check out Publication 3676-B for information on what services are provided and what documents to bring.
Filing taxes when English is not your first language
Navigating tax season when English is not your first language can be overwhelming. Seasoned financial expert and Certified Financial Planner Gabriel Lalonde suggests that you take advantage of tax preparation software to make this process easier. According to Lalonde, “Many tax preparation software programs offer language support for non-English speakers, allowing you to complete your tax return in your native language. These programs can walk you through the tax filing process step-by-step and help you identify deductions and credits you may be eligible for.”
TurboTax, for example, is available in English and Spanish. In the Spanish Live Assisted version, you’ll have access to bilingual tax experts who can answer your tax questions and review your tax return to ensure it’s filed correctly. On top of that, with the Spanish Full Service edition, a bilingual tax professional will take care of your taxes from start to finish.
What should I do with IRS Notice 1445?
If you receive an IRS Notice 1445 but don’t need tax assistance in another language, you can simply ignore the letter. There won’t be any negative consequences for doing so.
If English is not your first language or you otherwise prefer to receive tax help in a language other than English, follow the instructions outlined in the notice letter to access these language assistance options.
What languages does the IRS offer support in?
The IRS currently offers support in 20 languages other than English: Spanish, Korean, Tagalog, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, Russian, Khmer, Urdu, Arabic, Polish, Gujarati, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Farsi, and Punjabi.
What is Internal Revenue Code Section 1445?
Internal Revenue Code Section 1445 refers to a set of guidelines regarding withholding taxes and refunds when a foreign person sells property in the United States. In a nutshell, the tax code states that a transferee (buyer) of a U.S. real property interest must withhold tax if the transferor (seller) is a foreign person. The amount of tax withheld is generally the lesser of 15% of the property sales price or the transferor’s maximum tax liability.
- IRS Notice 1445 informs taxpayers of their right to receive tax help in multiple languages. No action needs to be taken unless you prefer to receive assistance from the IRS in a language other than English.
- Aside from English, the IRS currently offers taxpayer support in 20 languages, including Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese (both Simplified and Traditional), Vietnamese, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, Russian, and Arabic.
- IRC Section 1445 and IRS Notice 1445 are unrelated to each other. IRC Section 1445 is part of the Internal Revenue Code and provides guidance on withholding taxes when a foreign person sells property in the U.S. It is not a letter that a taxpayer receives in the mail.
- VITA sites provide free tax return preparation assistance for qualified individuals, including limited English-speaking taxpayers.
Though there’s no need to worry if you receive an IRS Notice 1445, you may need to take action if you find a different type of IRS notice in your mailbox. If you need help understanding what your IRS notices mean, use the IRS Notices & Letters search tool to find out the reason the IRS is contacting you. If you can’t find what you’re looking for using the search tool, contact the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
Lastly, to make sure all of your bases are covered when it comes to taxes, consider consulting a tax professional, such as a CPA, for more personalized guidance. You can also use SuperMoney’s comparison tool to find the best tax preparation services that can help you file your tax returns correctly, so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises from the IRS in the future!
View Article Sources
- Definitions of Terms and Procedures Unique to FIRPTA – IRS.gov
- Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter – IRS.gov
- Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers – IRS.gov
- Languages – IRS.gov
- Schedule LEP, Request for Change in Language Preference – IRS.gov
- IRS Publication 3676-B, IRS Certified Volunteers Providing Free Tax Preparation – IRS.gov
- Get Free Tax Prep Help – IRS.gov
- IRS Letters and Notices: What To Do If You Got One – SuperMoney
- Is TurboTax Live Worth It? 2023 In-Depth Review – SuperMoney
- Accountants vs. CPAs: Which Is The Right Choice For You? – SuperMoney