Millions of Americans have learned over the last week that the Internal Revenue Service wants more money from them due to a ‘math error’ in 2020 tax filings. The notices went out to around 11 million people, according to officials, in which a ‘math error’ is pointed to as the culprit for the payment requests.
The letters are common – but this year 14-times as many were sent out than in the past. That’s a major problem for families who are struggling to get by or simply thought they filed appropriately.
Another major problem is that the payments are demanded in a matter of days. In fact, the letter states that if payment is not received within approximately 21 days – penalties and interest will be added.
What should you do if you receive a math error letter from the IRS?
The agency has been flooded with demand, and at the moment, faces an historic backlog, so getting through to them to fix things or appeal is tricky. The simplest answer is calling (800) 829-8374.
Even though the timeline in the letter suggests otherwise, those who receive one of the letters can request an abatement within 60 days. If additional documentation is needed to clarify why the math error the IRS describes is incorrect – you’ll need to provide it in that window.
There’s also an option to work out a payment plan with the IRS if you cannot come up with the money owed in the letter.
What happens if you ignore the IRS math error letter?
The importance of acting quickly cannot be overstated. If you do not appeal to the IRS or contact them within 60 days you lose all rights to reverse or appeal the charges. You can claim a refund after it’s paid in a future tax filing – but that doesn’t change the immediate outcome.
Does the IRS math error letter trigger an audit?
While the letter doesn’t trigger an audit, it does question the calculations made on your tax return. Those issues should be well-documented on the individuals’ end to ensure that future tax filings don’t have the same issue or trigger the same warning letter later in the year.
What else should you keep an eye out for related to the IRS and math error letters?
The IRS has been in the news a lot as of late, and keeping up with the latest is important.
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