Why am I getting a letter from the Illinois Department of Revenue?

You may receive a letter from the Illinois Department of Revenue for numerous reasons, and most are no cause for alarm. But when you do, you want access to someone with experience and expertise. Our team at Pasquesi Sheppard is here to help guide you through your interaction. 

According to the Illinois Department of Revenue website, “The Illinois Department of Revenue sends letters and notices to request additional information and support for information you report on your tax return or to inform you of a change made to your return, balance due, or overpayment amount. Read your notice or letter in its entirety, and it’ll explain the reason for the contact and give you instructions on how to respond, if necessary. Most of the time, if you agree with the information, there’s no need to contact us.” 

It’s important to note that the Illinois Department of Revenue and the IRS send tax notices through the U.S. Postal Service. According to their websites, these government agencies don’t send requests to taxpayers by telephone, email, text message, or social media. If you receive a communication through one of these channels — especially if it asks for personal or financial information — review it carefully and, if needed, reach out to the appropriate agency or a trusted tax authority before responding to a potentially fraudulent request.

That said, if you do receive a letter from the Illinois Department of Revenue, it’s important to understand what’s needed and take any appropriate action promptly. Below are some of the legitimate reasons you may receive a letter from the Illinois Department of Revenue and possible next steps to take if you do.

Correction to Your Tax Return 

If the Illinois Department of Revenue has determined you’ve paid too much or too little tax, you may be notified of a correction to your tax return. This may also mean you now have a balance due, a refund due for an overpayment, or the amount of your refund may have changed. If this is the case, you may receive a letter and/or standard notice, such as a Return Correction Notice (IDOR-1-RCN) or Notice of Tax Due (IDOR-2-BILL).

Possible Action

You may not have any action to take in the case of a refund. However, carefully review the letter and any updates, as these notices often have a timeline for responding. Keep a copy of your letter and all responses, and reach out to your tax professional with any questions or concerns.

If you have a balance due, you can pay online or by mail; more information on how to pay and what to do if you’re not able to pay in full immediately is available on the Illinois Department of Revenue payments page.

Informational Notices

You may receive an informational notice for general updates or information about available tax rebates or credits.

Possible Action

If the notice is informational only, there may not be any action required. If in doubt, check with your tax professional and save the notice for your records.

Request for Information

The Illinois Department of Revenue may contact you if additional information is needed to verify your identity, residency, or income.

Possible Action

Depending on the information needed, Illinois has standard processes and forms, such as the following:

Depending on the type of request, there may be multiple ways to respond, such as by mail to the address provided on the letter or online using a standard form or through the MyTax Illinois site.

Of course, before providing any personal information, it’s important to ensure that the letter is a legitimate request, which brings us to scams.

Beware of Scams

According to the IRS website, “Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll, and tax professionals. The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information.”

The website explains that the IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. “If a letter (or email, text, or phone call) from the Department of Revenue looks suspicious in any way or asks for personal or financial/bank account information, please review the request carefully before providing any information,” the IRS advises. 

Possible Action

For more information, see the IRS article “How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door.” Of course, if you’re still not certain or have any concerns that you may have received a fraudulent request, contact a trusted tax professional for guidance. 

Know Your Rights

According to the Illinois Department of Revenue’s “Taxpayer Bill of Rights:”

  • You have the right to call the Department of Revenue to help resolve tax problems. 
  • You have the right to privacy and confidentiality under most tax laws. 
  • You have the right to respond, within specified time periods, to Department notices by asking questions, paying the amount due, or providing proof to refute its findings. 
  • You have the right to appeal Department decisions, in many instances, within a specified period, by asking for a review, by filing a petition with the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal, or by filing a complaint in circuit court. 
  • If you’ve overpaid your taxes, you have the right, within specified periods, to file for a credit (or, in some cases, a refund) of that overpayment. 

Trusted Tax Guidance Is Available

If you have questions or concerns about a letter from the Illinois Department of Revenue and would like support in responding, contact our team at Pasquesi Sheppard LLC. We have a strong team of professionals with expertise in tax preparation and planning, accounting, audits, and other financial services for individuals, families, small businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. Our team can help you respond promptly to ensure the best outcome and avoid any potential pitfalls or penalties.

Rear view on woman opening letter by Ron Lach is licensed with Pexels License