When you file your taxes, you should make every effort to fill out all of the forms correctly. Mistakes happen, though, and this sometimes results in you owing more money to the Internal Revenue Service. When this happens, you'll receive a notice from the IRS. It will state the specific reason for the discrepancy and list how much you owe.
Balance Due Date
On the notice that you've received, you will see a "due by" date printed next to the amount that you owe. This date is typically about three weeks from the date that the IRS printed and sent the notice. You must pay the amount in full by this date to avoid any penalties. You can simply send a check to the IRS.
When You Can't Pay
Sometimes, the bill comes as a shock and you don't have enough money to pay the bill in full. The IRS will allow you to make more affordable payments on the amount that you owe. On your notice, there is a contact number for the IRS in the upper-right-hand corner. Call this number to speak with a representative about payment arrangements. Prepare to wait on hold for a long time before you speak with a representative. Once you have an arrangement that you can live with, "Forbes" magazine suggests sending a confirmation letter to the IRS, including the details of the arrangement, along with the name and badge number of the representative you spoke with.
Interest and Fees
When you pay the balance due by the listed due date, you do not pay any interest or fees. However, if you are late, you can incur a late fee, which you may find out about in a separate notice. Interest accrues on the unpaid balance if you do not pay in full by the due date, though.
Disputing the Information
The IRS makes mistakes, too, and if you feel that the notice you received is not correct, you can dispute it. You have up to 60 days to contact the IRS regarding your dispute. Call the number on the upper-right corner of the notice, or contact the IRS by mail. Be prepared to provide evidence that supports your dispute.
Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.