Do I need to change my address with the
People often ask if they need to change
their addresses with the IRS. The truth is there is no law to
say that you must tell the IRS your new address when you move.
But it is in your benefit to provide the IRS with your current
address whenever you move and as soon as possible.
What would happen if I don't tell the IRS
of my change of address?
Some people think that if the IRS doesn't
know their address then the IRS cannot trouble them with IRS
audits or IRS collections. This is not true because the IRS
eventually will find you and you will be in even more trouble
when the IRS does find you.
A woman divorced her husband and moved away
from her old home. She remarried and never told the IRS of her
new address. Most people when moved and divorced are too
distressed to think about telling the IRS of their new
addresses. While the woman's trying to move on, the IRS has
filed a tax lien against her for taxes associated with her
former husband's business. The lien included taxes for years
she was married to her ex-husband whom she had not seen for
years. She now has to deal with IRS collection.
If she had
filed the tax form 8822 with the IRS, she would
have known about the IRS' tax assessment in
advance before the tax lien is filed. The IRS
is required to send notices to the last known
address and in her case, her ex husband's home,
and it was probably in his best interest to
never forward her any mail from the
Since the IRS
did not have her current address, she did not
receive the notice of deficiency, the
administrative action requisite to a tax
If she had received the notices, she would
have had time to file a Tax Court petition, stopping the IRS
from assessing the tax against her. After the petition, she
could be considered an innocent spouse and avoid the tax
assessment. By filing the tax form 8822 for the change of
address, she could have dealt this problem early on, thus
preventing the stress from having IRS tax liens on her.