Publication 556 - Introductory Material
The IRS Mission
Provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying
the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.
Penalty for filing erroneous claim for refund or credit. You may have to pay a penalty if you file an erroneous claim for refund or credit. See Penalty for erroneous claim for refund, later
under Claims for Refund.
Interest and penalties suspended if notice not mailed within 36 months. If you file your return timely (including extensions), interest and certain penalties will be suspended if the IRS does not
mail a notice to you
within 36 months. See Suspension of interest and penalties, later under Examination of Returns.
Fast track mediation. The IRS offers fast track mediation services to help taxpayers resolve many disputes resulting from:
See Fast track mediation under If You Do Not Agree.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accepts most federal tax returns as filed. However, the IRS examines (or audits) some returns
to determine if
income, expenses, and credits are being reported accurately.
If your return is selected for examination, it does not suggest that you made an error or are dishonest. Returns are chosen
screening, by random sample, or by an income document matching program. See Examination selection criteria, later. You should also know
that many examinations result in a refund or acceptance of the tax return without change.
This publication discusses general rules and procedures that the IRS follows in examinations. It explains what happens during
an examination and
your appeal rights, both within the IRS and in the federal court system. It also explains how to file a claim for refund of
tax you already paid.
As a taxpayer, you have the right to be treated fairly, professionally, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees. Publication
1, Your Rights as a
Taxpayer, explains your rights when dealing with the IRS.
Comments and suggestions.
We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
Individual Forms and Publications Branch
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224
We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number,
including the area code, in
You can email us at
. (The asterisk must be included in the
address.) Please put “Publications Comment
” on the subject line. Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your
feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
Ordering forms and publications.
to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response
within 10 days after your request is received.
Internal Revenue Service
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway
Bloomington, IL 61704-6613
If you have a tax question, check the information available on
or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to
either of the above addresses.
Useful Items - You may want to see:
Your Rights as a Taxpayer
Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare a Protest If You Don't Agree
Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts
The IRS Collection Process
Guide to Free Tax Services
Innocent Spouse Relief
Taxpayer Advocate Service-Your Voice at the IRS
Collection Appeal Rights
Fast Track Mediation
Tax Relief for Victims of Terrorist Attacks
Form (and Instructions)
Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement
Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative
Request for Copy of Tax Return
Request for Transcript of Tax Return
Injured Spouse Allocation
Request for Innocent Spouse Relief
See How To Get Tax Help, near the end of this publication, for information about getting these publications and forms.