A follow-up to the last article (Aug 2019) about the IRS CP504 notice to compare it to IRS LT11 notice.
In this article I am going to dissect that notice’s evil cousin: the LT series letter. The one I happen to be looking at for reference today is a LT11 notice. Again, the notice code can be found in the upper right corner of the first page along with the notice date, social security number (often times partially masked these days), case reference number, and IRS phone number.
There are many similarities between the CP and the LT letters. Both come with a payment coupon at the bottom of page one. Both contain information about the denial or revocation of a US passport, information about penalties and interest, and information about “what you need to do immediately.” The LT11 has a more descriptive section on Federal Tax Liens, but for the most part it actually has less information than the CP504. I think the rationale is that they have already spelled things out in previous letters and its just not necessary to repeat everything.
The first thing a taxpayer will probably notice on the IRS LT11 notice is what appears in the boldest, biggest font on the front page: “Intent to seize your property or rights to property / Amount due immediately: $_______.” The heading, which actually appears above this phrase, is “notice of intent to levy and notice of your right to a hearing.” The right to a hearing is key because without it the IRS can’t move forward with levies. Some of the types of property that become subject to levy are listed on the first page of the LT11 notice: wages and other income, bank accounts, business or personal assets (including your car and home), Alaska Permanent Fund dividend and state tax refund, Social Security benefits.
Another major difference between LT11 and CP504 is where the letter comes from. The office address is in the upper left corner of the notice, and the LT letters will come from ACS or “ACS Support.” ACS stands for “Automated Collection System.” ACS is difficult to define because it is an IRS operation/function, it is a physical place (or places) with support sites in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Fresno, Kansas City, and Philadelphia, and it is a case status. According to the Internal Revenue Manual:
Automated Collection System Support (ACSS) is a Compliance Operation, supporting ACS Call-Sites, resolving correspondence from taxpayers, their representatives, and/or third party contacts. These include Taxpayer Delinquent Accounts (TDA) with a balance due and/or Taxpayer Delinquency Investigations (TDI) with delinquent returns.
IRM 22.214.171.124 (02-20-2018)
As for the “what you should do immediately” section of the letter, the options are (1) pay what is owed; (2) make arrangements to pay/resolve what is owed; or (3) request a Collection Due Process hearing. If you do not believe you are responsible for the tax, it might be worth while to file a CDP hearing request. If you know that you owe, but can’t pay, then you’ll want to explore other resolution alternatives such as an installment agreement or offer in compromise. Everything from this point on in your case is extremely time sensitive. Even if you’ve been able to fly under the radar for several months, once you’re in collections, things start to move more quickly. A tax attorney can help you decide which is best for your individual circumstances, help you to meet important deadlines, and get you back on track with the IRS.