Efficiently Handle IRS Notices with Tech

If you feel like your clients have recently experienced an uptick in IRS notices, you’re not alone. During the pandemic and through most of last year, the IRS had paused notices related to past-due balances and other matters. Beginning in early 2024, the COVID pause ended, and notices for years as far back as 2020 were starting to be processed with rapid fire. While the tactic was meant to reduce stress during and post-pandemic, it’s generating a lot of stress, and a lot of work now. Clients don’t generally understand or even know why they’re suddenly receiving these notices.

While dealing with IRS notices on behalf of clients is a regular part of the job, responding to them in high volume can be frustrating and time-consuming. Leveraging technology can help, especially when a lot of what we are seeing right now are computer-generated notices with a specific letter number that can be addressed with the right resources.

The IRS website provides detailed information on each type of notice, which can be invaluable for interpreting them correctly. Plus, it’s free. Tech tools like Canopy and Thompson Reuters offer data banks that have pre-written responses to certain notices. But if that’s not in the budget, a simple notice number search on the IRS website can give you instructions on how to best respond. Save your responses for each different notice number as a template for future use.

IRS notices come with specific response deadlines and missing them can lead to penalties for your clients. Prioritize notices that require faster action and use practice management software to stay on top of these crucial dates. Many software options allow you to input and track deadlines, automate reminders, and assign tasks to team members, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. Using your existing practice management software to help automate this workflow, combined with saving your pre-written templates can vastly improve the time it will take your firm to help clients respond to these notices.

Before crafting your response, gather all relevant documentation to support your client’s case. Secure client portals are an efficient way to request and receive these documents electronically. Clients can quickly upload scans, photos, or digital copies of receipts, invoices, or other necessary paperwork, saving time and minimizing the risk of lost documents. Using a portal that lets you create check-off task lists with deadlines can help ensure clients know what they need to send, how to send it, and by what date.

For notices that allow it, the IRS provides a secure Document Upload Tool that enables you to submit your response and supporting documents electronically. This can be faster and more reliable than mailing physical copies. Familiarize yourself with which notices qualify for this submission method and utilize it whenever possible.

Review the IRS website for more information on what notices can be responded to using the document upload tool.

Christine Gervais

Christine Gervais is a licensed CPA, using her skills to help businesses grow and achieve their fullest potential. Christine has a Master’s degree in accounting from Southern New Hampshire University in addition to holding her CPA license for over a decade. Notably, Christine is a nationally recognized speaker providing education to other CPAs on how to best serve clients as well as instruction on a wide variety of topics for business owners on how to maximize success. Christine prides herself on the value she can bring to clients with her extensive tax knowledge and provides strategic, forward-thinking financial strategies to help clients grow. When not behind her desk, you can find Christine spending quality time with her daughter and stepson or tending to the family’s excessively loved farm animals.

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