Correct an Official's Mistake on Your Taxes • Example Letters, Plus Guides and Samples
Be courteous and to the point, while including sufficient detail to back up your claim and to show that you have done your homework.
How to write this error letter:
- State your name and TIN (tax-payer identification number) and, if you like, the subject of the letter.
- Identify the error.
- Explain why you believe the reader has made an error.
- Request that a correction be made.
- Close with a positive expression, and give your TIN, if you did not give it earlier.
Example Letter #1
RE: Error in Property Value Assessment
1600 Main Street
We have just received our county tax notice (reference #12345) indicating that our home is now valued at $161,000. This is surely an error. Just three months ago we had it appraised for a second mortgage and its market value was determined to be $130,000. I am enclosing a copy of that appraisal, along with evidence that similar homes in our neighborhood have recently sold for about $130,000.
I request that you correct our notice to reflect the actual value on which we are to be taxed. If this correspondence is not sufficient to justify the correction, please let me know what I need to do. I trust this change can be made before my taxes are due.
My tax identification number is 555-55-5555.
Example Letter #2
Re: John Doe property
I just received my property tax assessment indicating a 100% increase in the value of my home. I am sure this is an error for two reasons. First, my home is 25 years old and is in a neighborhood of similar homes that have increased in value only 10% this year. Second, I recently had an appraisal on my home, which indicated an 8% increase in value over last year's evaluation. I will be glad to provide full documentation, if necessary. I look forward to receiving a revised assessment. For more information, please call me at 555-5555.
Example Letter #3
My name is John Doe and my TIN is 555-555-5555. The state has evidently made an error in calculating my taxes. I received a notice today informing me I owe additional taxes because I calculated my dependents' deductions incorrectly. Your notice also indicated that I have only two children. This is an error. I have three. Enclosed is a copy of my state tax form with deductions based on three dependents. You will see that my original deductions are correct. Please adjust your records accordingly. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.
Example Letter #4
Business License # 555-55-5555
I recently received a past-due notice for taxes on my vending machines. I sold my vending machine business last year, and when I received my first notice of taxes due, I spoke to a representative in your Springfield office. He had me send him a copy of the bill of sale for the business, another copy of which is attached to this letter.
Please correct your records immediately or notify me if you require further information. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 State your name and TIN (tax-payer identification number) and, if you like, the subject of the letter.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- RE: John Doe
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- RE: Insufficient data
- RE: Erroneous tax refund
2 Identify the error.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- It appears that the county has made an error in my property tax assessment.
- There seems to be an error in my property tax assessment.
- I should have received a tax refund of $853.25, but instead received a check for $2,964.36.
- I expected a tax refund of $853.25, but received a check for $835.25.
- My home office deduction and computer depreciation deduction have erroneously been disallowed.
- I have been penalized for not declaring a State Income Tax refund of $444 for last year. The imposition of this penalty is an error.
- It appears that you have made an error in refusing to allow deductions for two of my dependents who both lack social security numbers.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- a multiplicity of errors
- a profusion of mistakes
- after thoroughly reviewing my records
- appears that you have made an error in
- assessor made several mistakes
- believe that I have found errors
- but instead received a check for
- claimed that I failed to
- contrary to your policy
- did not allow deductions for
- expected a tax refund of
- explained the apparent discrepancy in the note attached to
- grievous mistake has occurred
- has committed a serious error
- have been penalized for
- have erroneously been disallowed
- have looked over the assessment carefully
- have mistakenly been omitted
- imposition of this penalty is an error
- in the assessment of my property
- in refusing to allow
- instructions were confusing
- is apparent that the township has erred
- probably a simple clerical error
- reported $0 from "other" income sources
- represents a real burden to
- seems to be an error in my
- should be explained with laymen in mind
- should be written more clearly
- thoroughly reviewed all records regarding
- was entitled to a home office deduction
3 Explain why you believe the reader has made an error.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- My neighbors on each side, who have comparable homes, were assessed $2,819 and $2,940. The neighbor across the street, whose property is very similar to mine, was assessed $2,783. These assessments are, respectively, $930, $809, and $966 less than my assessment of $3,749.
- The assessment is calculated on a square footage of 84,000 square feet, but the property is actually 84 feet wide by 100 feet deep, with an area of 8,400 square feet.
- No explanation was attached and, because of the transposition of the numbers, I believe this may have been a clerical error.
- While it is true that my employer provides both an office and a computer for my use, my husband is a free-lance writer, and the computer and the office space are both for his exclusive use.
- They are used for no other purpose than his writing. I deal with the household and other accounts on my work computer.
- I did not receive a State Tax refund last year, but paid in $444. Enclosed is a copy of my canceled check.
- Please note that the children, twins, are both less than one year old. I had applied for Social Security numbers prior to filing, but they did not arrive on time. I do have their numbers now: Robert: 555-55-5555 and Eric: 555-55-5555.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- a recent appraisal of my home
- am sure you will see the discrepancy
- assessed has increased unreasonably this year
- assessment is calculated on
- because of the transposition of the numbers
- believe this may have been a clerical error
- deductions have always been allowed
- employer does not provide
- enclosed is a copy of my canceled check
- expected to receive a refund of
- far more than the book value
- from the enclosed copies of our W-2 forms
- had not yet received their Social Security numbers
- have checked the records
- have not changed my name
- have receipts for the
- have kept written records of
- is provided for my exclusive use
- is used exclusively for
- my reported income did not match
- neighbors' assessments are considerably lower than
- no explanation was attached
- numbers must have been transposed
- receive no tax refunds last year
- review my previous income tax forms
- square footage is actually
- used for no other purposes
- was not disallowed last year
4 Request that a correction be made.
Sample Sentences for Step 4
- Of course I could appeal, but I suspect that this may be a simple clerical error, easily corrected. Please check the appropriate records and call me at 555-5555.
- Please review the matter and send me a check for the remainder.
- Kindly revise the assessment.
- I calculated the deductions strictly according to the IRS rules, and therefore request that you correct your records and allow the deductions. I trust that you will also cancel the tax and penalty that were assessed.
- Kindly correct your records.
- Please update your records and send our refund.
Sample Phrases for Step 4
- allow the deductions
- am eager to have this resolved
- am confident that you will
- as soon as possible
- before turning to the official appeals process
- call if you have further questions
- cancel the tax and penalty we were assessed
- cancel the tax penalty
- compare this assessment with
- expect prompt action
- expect to hear from you soon
- kindly correct your records
- kindly revise the assessment
- kindly send a check for the amount due to us
- may be a simple clerical error
- of course I could appeal, but
- please check the appropriate records
- please correct this mistake
- please make the necessary corrections
- request that you
- resolve this discrepancy
- review my case and
- send us our refund
- send me a check for the difference
- should be able to work this out
- there is probably a simple solution
- think this can be resolved quite easily
- to meet with you
- trust that you will
- update your records and
- will be happy to
- with previous assessments
- would appreciate your
- would like to meet with a representative
- would be pleased to
- your prompt attention to this matter
- your assistance in
- your sending the correct refund
5 Close with a positive expression, and give your TIN, if you did not give it earlier.
Sample Sentences for Step 5
- Thank you for your assistance.
- I trust this will be satisfactory. My TIN is 555 55 5555.
- Thank you for your cooperation. My TIN is 555 55 5555.
- If you have further questions, you can reach me at 555-5555.
- I would appreciate your checking this as soon as possible.
Sample Phrases for Step 5
- am conscious that errors occur
- am willing to provide more information
- am confident that you
- am sure you will
- are aware that mistakes happen
- do not hesitate to contact me
- for your assistance
- for your prompt attention to
- for taking the steps necessary to
- for working this out
- if you need additional information
- if you have any questions
- if I can assist you
- if you have further questions
- is a busy time of the year
- look forward to
- my TIN is 555-55-5555
- please call if
- please let me know
- send me a copy of
- straighten out the confusion
- thank you for
- the accompanying information may assist you in
- to receiving our refund
- to receiving confirmation that
- to seeing a revised summary
- trust that you will make every effort to
- trust that this will be satisfactory
- trust you will do everything necessary
- understand that such problems arise
- will appreciate your updating our files
- would appreciate your
- would appreciate receiving a copy of the corrected record
- your help with
- your correcting this
- your prompt attention to
- your cooperation in