Monthly Archives: February 2014

Ignore Your Mail at Your Own Risk!

Between email, mail, faxes, and social media, we are bombarded by incoming messages. It is easy to ignore all of this, or perhaps limit the time spent, but you should not ignore your snail mail. Here are a few things to be aware of regarding mail to make sure that you do not create a financial mess.

Change Your Address: This is extremely critical if you move so that you receive your bills on time, IRS notices, and other important mail. You need to contact each company to change your address and also prepare and submit change of address forms with the IRS. You should have your mail forwarded to your new address.

Open Your Mail: For tax purposes, it is extremely important to open and read all mail that is received. The IRS has increased the number of notices that it sends out by about six fold over the past 10 years, so it is likely that you may receive one. The notice may be incorrect, but there are time limits to respond to the notices, otherwise a
small issue will become a large and expensive one. Additionally, you have certain rights as a taxpayer, but they must be exercised within a limited timeframe.

Minor Bills: You may receive a bill from a credit card company for just a few dollars and then put it to the side because of the insignificant amount. This is a bad move because even a small balance that it not paid will show up as a missed or late payment on your credit report and will lower your credit score. This can also happen with other bills that end up being submitted to a collection agency, which will also have a negative impact on your credit score.

One observation that we have noticed is that both tax and financial issues either start or are compounded by ignoring mail. This is especially true if you receive certified mail that is ultimately not received or picked up at the post office. Let us know if you need help deciphering any tax notices that you receive.