How to Respond to an IRS Audit Letter


Responding to an IRS audit notice in a timely manner with the correct information is the first step toward a quick and favorable resolution. If you’ve received an IRS audit letter, the experienced attorneys at Wiggam Law can help you write an appropriate response and prepare you to face the IRS.

If you have received an IRS tax audit letter, don’t panic. In many cases, the IRS randomly chooses taxpayers and will conduct your audit by mail. Still, your best course of action is to respond quickly with a letter that addresses all issues raised by the IRS, and includes copies of documents supporting your response as well as any information requested by the IRS.

What Does an IRS Audit Letter Look Like?

The IRS will always inform you by mail that you have been selected for an audit. The agency will never contact you via phone or email to notify you of an audit. An audit letter will come from the IRS but might also note the US Treasury or Department of Treasury. It will include the name and number of the IRS form to be audited as well as the applicable tax years. The letter will be signed by an IRS agent, and include the agent’s telephone and employee identification numbers.

How to Write a Letter to the IRS

Do not ignore an IRS audit letter. Respond by any deadlines noted in the letter. The IRS generally asks for a response within 30 days. If for any reason you cannot respond by the deadline, call the number included with the IRS audit letter.

Gather all the documentation requested in the IRS audit letter. If you are missing any information, contact original sources for copies. For example, if the IRS is questioning your charitable deductions and you are missing letters confirming your donation, contact the charity for duplicate documentation. Do not send original documents to the IRS; always send copies.

Your IRS response letter should include these basics:

  • Response date
  • IRS address noted in your audit letter
  • Subject line, above the main body, with the IRS audit notice or audit letter number
  • Your information – name, taxpayer identification number, and contact info
  • Name of the IRS agent in charge of your case

The body of your IRS audit response letter should:

  • Address each item or finding mentioned in the IRS audit letter
  • State your position on these items
  • Include as much detail as possible, including dates and circumstances, to support your position
  • Reference the documentation you have included to support your position
  • Note any additional documentation that the IRS requested and that you have included with your letter

An IRS audit response letter might seem easy and straightforward, but there are nuances and specifications that a regular taxpayer might miss. It’s best to seek the advice of an experienced tax law firm, like Wiggam Law. An experienced Wiggam Law attorney can write a letter that not only meets IRS specifications but also is crafted to tackle the IRS’s issues and obtain quick resolution.

What Happens if You Don’t Respond in Time?

The IRS won’t go away. If you miss the deadline for responding to your IRS audit letter, you will receive a follow-up notice of deficiency. This is basically an official notice that the IRS has determined it was correct regarding any questions on your return. It will include the amount of assessed additional taxes as well as penalties and interest.

This letter is also referred to as the 90-day letter because it gives you 90 days to petition the IRS’s adjustments in the US Tax Court. If you do not respond to the notice of deficiency, you will receive a bill from the IRS for your tax debt, including penalties and interest accrued from the date you first filed your original return.

If you have received an IRS audit letter, it’s best to act quickly and hire an experienced tax attorney. Our team of experienced tax lawyers can help you evaluate your options and represent you. Give us a call at (404) 233-9800 to get started today.