How to Write a Letter Contesting a Tax Payment

Disputes between tax entities and people usually occur when taxpayers are asked to pay more taxes than they believe they owe. Outside of federal income tax errors, property tax assessments and state tax return calculations are two of the most common sources of disagreement. If you believe your state or local taxation agency made a mistake when it calculated your property or income taxes, you can write a letter detailing the error and provide evidence of your claim. You cannot use a letter to contest federal tax payments. Instead, you must follow the IRS appeals process.

Place the date, your name and your address on separate lines at the top of the page.

Address the letter to the taxation agency by using the phrase "To the State Department of Taxation" or similar wording. If you know the name of the person who will receive the letter, address it to that person directly.

State that you are contesting the amount the taxation agency says you owe and explain the mistake in the first paragraph. If the dispute is over property taxes, state that you believe a mistake was made during the assessment. If there is an issue with your tax return, tell the agency that you believe some information was accidentally omitted or that a mathematical error occurred. Be as detailed as possible so the agency has a comprehensive understanding of the discrepancy -- but limit the explanation to one paragraph.

Offer your home number, cell phone number and email address in the second paragraph. Request that the taxation agency contact you with questions about, and updates on, your situation. Thank the agency for its attention to the matter and state that you look forward to a quick resolution. Sign the bottom of the letter.

Include any evidence you have to prove your claim in the envelope with the letter. Provide items such as previous property assessments that showed a different amount or a current assessment performed by a third party. Include documentation of any disputed income, expenses, deductions or credits such as pay stubs, W-2 forms, investment statements, federal tax forms and receipts.

 

About the Author