Tax Questions

Do I need to change my address with the IRS?


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.

For example:

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 IRS.

Since the IRS did not have her current address, she did not receive the notice of deficiency, the administrative action requisite to a tax assessment.

Do I need to change my address with the IRS

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.