HOW TO NOTIFY IRS OF A CHANGE OF ADDRESS

21 May 2020

On its website, the IRS has provided taxpayers with instructions on how to notify the IRS of a change of address.

Background. The Code requires IRS to send various documents, including refund checks and deficiency notices, to a taxpayer’s “last known address.” (Rev Proc 2010-16, 2020-19 IRB 664)

A taxpayer’s last known address is the address on the taxpayer’s most recently filed and properly processed return, unless the taxpayer has given the IRS clear and concise notice of a different address. (Reg §301.6212-2(a))

When a notice or document is sent to a taxpayer’s last known address, the notice or document is legally effective, even if the taxpayer never receives it. (Rev Proc 2010-16)

Notifying IRS of a changed address. To help taxpayers who need to notify the IRS of a change in their address, the IRS

has provided the following change of address instructions on its website:

A taxpayer who changes address before filing their current tax return only needs to enter their new address on that return before filing it. When the IRS processes that return, it will update the taxpayer’s address in its records.

Example. Taxpayer changes address in February 2020 before filing his 2019 Form 1040. Taxpayer only needs to enter his new address on his 2019 Form 1040 before filing it to notify the IRS of his February 2020 change of address.

A taxpayer who changes address after filing their return should notify the post office servicing their old address that their address has changed. In addition, taxpayers changing address after filing their return should directly notify the IRS of their new address by completing and mailing:

 

  • Form 8822, Change of Address (For Individual, Gift, Estate, or Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Returns), or

 

  • Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party – Business (for employment, excise, income and other business returns, and tax-exempt organization returns).

 

 

Taxpayers may also write a letter to notify the IRS that their address has changed. When writing a change of address letter to the IRS, taxpayers should include the following:

  • Full name;
  • Old and new addresses;
  • Social security number (SSN), individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and/or employer identification number (EIN); and
  • Their signature.

Taxpayers who file a joint return with their spouse should include, in their change of address letter, the above information (i.e., full name, old and new addresses, etc.) for both spouses and have both spouses sign the letter.

Taxpayers who previously filed a joint return and now have separate residences, should each separately notify the IRS of their new, separate address.

A taxpayer’s IRS change of address letter should be mailed to the IRS address listed in the instructions to the tax forms the taxpayer filed. For example, individual taxpayers filing Form 1040 would send their change of address letters to the IRS Service Center where they would file their Form 1040 return if they filed their Form 1040 on paper.

A taxpayer’s Form 8822 should be sent to the address provided in the instructions to Form 8822. A taxpayer’s Form 8822-B should be sent to the address provided in the instructions Form 8822-B.

The website notes that the IRS issues confirmation notices (Notices 148A and 148B), for both the old and new address, to taxpayers changing the address for an employment tax return (i.e., Form 94X series).

The website also notes that it normally takes 4 to 6 weeks to process a change of address request. However, the IRS currently is not processing address changes submitted on Form 8822, Form 8822-B, or by letter since it has closed its service centers that process paper returns. See IRS: cutbacks in live services will not slow Economic Impact Payments (04/13/2020).