If you’ve moved recently, or even if you moved a while ago, it’s possible that not everyone has your current mailing address. And “everyone” should include the IRS.

Even if you file a return each year, the IRS doesn’t automatically note your address and change it from year to year if you move. And just making the change on your next return won’t guarantee that the agency will change it.

Like many large government entities, much of the IRS’s day-to-day operation depends on following the right process. For change of addresses, that process means you have to do it in writing, as soon as you have a new address, and separate from your tax filing.

The easiest way to do this is to file Form 8822. This is a multipurpose form. You can use it let the IRS know:

  • Your new address;
  • Your new name, if you got married and changed it, or had it legally changed; or
  • Your office’s new location, if you are filing the form for your business.

You should provide all of the following:

  • Full name(s)
  • Old address
  • New address
  • Social Security number(s) or employer identification number(s)
  • Signature(s)

If you and your spouse filed a joint return, provide the same information for each of you. If you filed a joint return and then you and your spouse established separate residences, you each should file separate forms to notify the IRS of your new addresses. Letting the IRS know how you can be reached is important so that you get the proper tax filing information during filing season. It also could help save you some money.

If the IRS has your correct address, you can rest easier that your refund check will come to the right location. And, if on the slim chance that the IRS says you owe more money, a delay caused by lost, returned or improperly forwarded mail could result in additional penalties or interest against you.

To change your address with the IRS, write to the service center where you filed your last return. Page 2 of Form 8822 has this information for both individual and business taxpayers; be sure to use the right list. Then simply address your envelope to “Internal Revenue Service Center” followed by the appropriate city and ZIP code and drop it in the nearest mailbox!