Send your return to the right IRS address
If you're using snail mail this tax season, make sure you send your
return to the right address.
The Internal Revenue Service is continuing to
consolidate and reorganize duties in the eight service centers that
process individual returns. This means some 1040s will be going
locations this filing season.
Returns sent to old or wrong IRS addresses will
eventually be forwarded to the appropriate location. But do you
really want to wait for the paperwork to be sorted out, especially
if you're expecting a refund? So don't rely on an address from last
year's return. Don't even bother to get the IRS address from your
next-door neighbor. If he files a different form, it might not be
the place where you should send your return.
The IRS mailing system for processing tax returns
has become so specialized that 1040 forms go to a different place
than do 1040A or 1040EZ forms. The proper address depends, too,
on whether you're getting a refund or paying a tax bill. The distinction
is the last four numbers of the IRS service center's full nine-digit
The best advice: Use the envelope that came
with your tax package. It should have two labels. Use the yellow
one if you're sending in a return that claims a refund. Affix the
white label if you owe Uncle Sam.
If you've lost the envelope, filing addresses
are on the back of each 1040 series instruction package. Click
here for a preview.
And if you file estimated
tax payments (Form 1040ES), be careful to send those vouchers
and quarterly payments to the correct IRS location. Estimated tax
payments generally go to a different IRS location, not the one that
handles regular income tax returns. Check page 6 of the 1040ES
for those addresses.
IRS checking taxpayer addresses,
All this address verification activity is
a two-way street. The IRS now can access the U.S. Postal Service's
national address change database to regularly
update master tax files.
Address changes from the postal database are
forwarded to the IRS periodically. Key changes, such as a person's
house number or ZIP code, are compared to tax records. When a match
appears, the IRS will institute a further comparison of the taxpayer's
complete address and, if necessary, update agency records.
The new postal address then will become the
person's official tax address until:
- A different address appears on a processed
tax return or
- The taxpayer notifies the IRS that he or
she has a different tax address.
While this new IRS-Postal Service agreement
should help reduce undeliverable tax correspondence, including refund
checks sent back to the IRS, the agency still recommends that
taxpayers submit a Form
8822, Change of Address, any time they move.