Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, it’s an exciting time. However, it can often be stressful and comes with a to-do list that seems to run a mile long. Somewhere on this list is the job of notifying friends, family, customers, suppliers, and others of your change of address. One person you may have left off your list of people to notify when you change your address is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Whether you’re an individual or representing a business, there are several ways to notify the IRS when you change your address.
Reasons to Notify the IRS When You Change Your Address
Of course, the idea of mail from the IRS probably fills your heart with fear, but you want them to know how to contact you or your business. There are several very good reasons to go ahead and notify the IRS when you change your address, including:
Receive Mail in a Timely Manner
When you provide the IRS with an address change, you’ll get your letters and notices from them in a timely manner. This matters because if you disagree with the IRS findings, then you only have a certain amount of time to reply or ask for an appeal. You don’t want to waste any of that time with the post office trying to forward the info to your new address.
If you still receive a paper check for your tax refund, you want it to arrive quickly at your new address.
Receive Your Business Paperwork and Forms
If you’re self-employed or a sole proprietor who uses their home address as their business address, you don’t want your business paperwork and forms to get lost in the move. In this case, you need to notify the IRS of your change of address as both an individual and as a business.
Five Methods for Updating Your Address Information With the IRS as an Individual
There are five ways for you to update your address information when you’re an individual. Each way is equally effective as the others while some methods may take longer. You can choose the method that you’re most comfortable using:
1. Tax Return
The easiest way to notify the IRS when you change your address is to simply wait until the next time you file your taxes. When the IRS receives a tax return with an address that isn’t the same as the one in the file, they change the file to reflect the one written on the most recent tax return. This is a great option if you’re planning to move in the first or last quarter of the year.
If you move shortly after filing your taxes for the year, you might want to consider one of the other options. You don’t want three months or longer to go by without the IRS having your correct correspondence information, because they may need to notify you about something important. Receiving mail and notices from the IRS in a timely manner is essential for protecting your rights to appeal.
2. Phone Call
Another easy way to notify the IRS of your change of address is to call. The local office for you varies depending on where you live — someone living in Florida wouldn’t contact the same office as someone in California — but you can easily find it in the link. During the phone call, the IRS agent will probably ask for some of your personal information to verify your identity. The information that you may need to provide includes:
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Employer identification number for a business
- Current address
- Former address
In some cases, the IRS agent on the phone might ask for additional information to verify you are who you say you are. You might consider printing out a copy of your last tax return and having it on hand to answer any additional questions.
3. In Person
If you like to do things in person and see the person that you’re dealing with, you might opt to provide the IRS with a notice of a change address in person. You can go to your local Taxpayer Assistance Center and provide one of the IRS agents with your new address information. The IRS agent will probably need the same personal information as the phone agent to verify your identity.
If you and your spouse file a joint return, you should probably bring them with you. When your partner can’t go with you, they need to provide you with a written statement, authorizing you to change the address for both of you and that they’re aware of the change. You’ll probably need to provide all of their personal information as well so make sure that you bring it with you. You might consider taking a copy of your last tax return with you to answer any additional questions.
4. By Mail in Writing
The IRS will accept a change of address through the mail in writing. You need to provide them with a written statement that includes all of your essential information along with your new and former addresses. On your written statement, you must include both your printed name and signed name in order for the IRS to accept it.
If you’ve filed a joint tax return in the past, you need to supply the essential information of both taxpayers, and both taxpayers must print and sign their names on the written statement. Once you’ve written your statement with all the necessary information and signed it, you want to mail it to the same location that you would mail your tax return. The address for mailing a tax return isn’t the same for everyone. Where you mail your tax return is based on the location where you live, so make sure you’re sending it to the correct location.
5. File a Change of Address Form
Yes, the IRS has a special form to change your address in your tax record. It’s Form 8822. The mailing address for the form is located on the form. To fill it out, follow these instructions:
- Check this box, if your change of address affects an individual’s tax return.
- Check this box, if the change of address affects gift, estate, or generation-skipping transfer tax returns. When you check this box, you must add the name of the recipient and their social security number.
- Provide your full name and Social Security number.
- Provide your spouse’s full name and Social Security number if applicable.
- Provide any prior names that you or your spouse have used in the past.
- Write your old address and your spouse’s old address. You need to make sure to list any suite numbers, apartment number, or lot numbers.
- Write your new address including any suite, apartment, or lot numbers.
- In Part II, you will offer a cell phone number although that’s optional, and then both you and your spouse should sign the form and date it.
It’s important to note that you should only list a post office box if the postal service doesn’t deliver mail to your physical address.
Once you notify the IRS when you change your address as an individual, it usually takes four to six weeks for them to update it in the taxpayer file. It can take longer during tax season.
Providing a New Address on Behalf of Another Individual
In some cases, you may need to update the address of another person, such as an elderly parent or adult child in college. To do this, you must have authorization from the person to make the changes. In order to become an authorized representative for another person when dealing with the IRS, both you and the other person must fill out a Form 2848, which grants you a limited power of attorney for tax purposes only.
When you approach the IRS through one of the above methods, you need to bring or include with the mailed forms a copy of the Form 2848. You also need all other relevant information, including full name, date of birth, Social Security number, past and new address, and other essential information.
Updating Your Address Information With the IRS for a Business
Changing a business address with the IRS is very similar to changing it as an individual. First, you must be the representative of that business to make the changes, fill out the forms, write a statement, or change it in person. Here are the best ways to notify the IRS when you change your address.
1. Tax Return
When you go to file your taxes the next time, you need to fill out the box at the top of the form for new addresses. The IRS compares the address that they have on file for a business with the one listed on the tax return. They will change the tax file to reflect the address used on the form. This is an easy option; however, you probably only want to go this route if it’s close to time to file your taxes. As a business, you probably receive frequent letters from the IRS, and you don’t want to miss any of them.
2. In Person
You can also go to your local Taxpayer Assistance Center to change the address in person. You need to bring all the applicable information about the business along with proof that you’re serving as the business’s representative. The IRS representative may ask you to provide identification to identify yourself. It’s also a good idea to bring last year’s tax return for the business with you to answer any additional questions.
3. Written Statement by Mail
As the representative for the business, you can write up a statement and mail it to the IRS. You need to include the following information, so the IRS can find the tax file and make the address change:
- Business name
- Old address
- New address
- Business’s tax identification number
- Signature of an authorized party
You need to mail the statement to the same location that you would mail your company’s tax return. Of course, the location you mail your tax return changes depending on the part of the country you are located in, so make sure you’re using the correct location.
File the Change of Address Form for Business
The IRS has a separate form for businesses; it’s Form 8822-B. This form is used to change the address or the responsible party for the company. It’s easy to fill out, following these steps:
- Check this box if the change of address affects employment, excise, income, and other business returns.
- Check this box if the change of address affects employee plan returns.
- Check this box if the change of address affects the business location.
- Write the business name and provide the Employer Identification Number.
- Provide the old address and be sure to include suite, lot, or apartment number.
- Provide the new address and be sure to include suite, lot, or apartment number.
- Provide the new business location if it’s different from the mailing address.
- Provide the new responsible person’s s SSN, ITIN, or EIN.
- Sign, date, and provide your title.
The address of where to send this form is available on the bottom of the form. You just find your location and send it to the appropriate place.
The IRS will need four to six weeks to update your tax file, and during tax season, it may take a little longer.
Learn More About Notifying the IRS When You Change Your Address
To change your address in your IRS file is easy, and you have a variety of options to find one that works best for you. Please remember, if you own a business, and its address is the home address that you need to update both IRS files with the new address.
The postal service will forward your mail from the IRS; however, there can be delays. You may lose time that you need to file an appeal or disagree with the IRS’s findings. At Silver Tax Group, we partner with our clients to meet their tax needs even the small mundane tasks, such as a change of address. Contact us to learn more.