Peymon's Instructions for IRS Notices and Letters


By Peymon at Freedom Lawschool. For an updated version of this process, go to

Understanding the progression of letters will help you understand what is going on with the IRS and what to expect so that you can have peace of mind. The bold part of the text below is what appears at the top center of the IRS letters in bold and bigger text, or is within the body of the letter, or what it is commonly called by the IRS. The number in the parenthesis is the number of the IRS form.

Sometimes 1  2 years after the IRS believes a tax is due.

30 Days or more after the CP-515 letter is sent

30+ Days after CP 518 is sent.

45+ Days after PIITA or 30 day letter (or 90 day letter)

135 Days or more after the Notice of Deficiency

20+ Days after the We Changed Your Account letter.

20+ Days after the Reminder letter.

Important letter.


The IRS cannot levy until after it issues letter 1058, so that letter has great legal significance. The letter is always sent certified mail. The other four letters are intended to scare you into paying the tax, penalties, and interest, and have no legal significance except CP 504. After issuing 504, the IRS can start levying state tax refunds.

Once the IRS issues letter 1058 (Notice of Intent to Levy), you have thirty days to file Form 12153 to initiate a Collection Due Process Hearing.

(After either the Levy Hearing Notice or the Lien Hearing notice.)

The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether the collection activity by the IRS is appropriate and that the IRS has met all the administrative requirements. The IRS Appeals Division presides over the hearing.

After you request a C. D. P. H. it may take up to four to five years to finish the C. D. P. H. and its possible appeals to the Tax Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. While you are in the C. D. P. H. the IRS cannot take or even attempt to take your paycheck, bank account, any third party payment to you, or car, your home, or any of your assets. So, be sure to ask for your hearing within 30 days.

During the pending of the hearing, the IRS must cease all collection activity (no levies). After the hearing, if the IRS determines that the enforced collection activity should continue, then a Notice of Determination is issued. Thirty days after the Notice of Determination has been issued, the IRS will again attempt to levy your wages and property unless you file an appeal in the United States Tax Court.

Both the Collection Due Process Hearing and the lawsuit in the United States Tax Court extend (toll) the time during which the IRS can attempt to collect taxes from you. This is also known as tolling the statue of limitations. The statute of limitations is typically ten years from the date of assessment, unless it has been tolled.

Frequently the IRS will refuse to accept a solution while there are other tax years for which returns have not been filed.

Note: There is no guarantee that the IRS will send out all of the letters and often omits them.