Whether you're expecting to hear from the IRS or not, it's a good idea to keep your address up to date with the federal tax agency. This is especially true if you're expecting a refund check in the mail since you'll want to make sure that the IRS knows where to send the check and that it doesn't get delayed or lost in the mail. You can use a variety of IRS forms to change your address for yourself or for the contact people for your business.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
IRS Change of Address
If you move or otherwise change your address, you should make sure to notify the IRS. If you're about to file a tax return when your address changes, you can use the new address on the tax return and the IRS should update your records.
Otherwise, you can fill out a tax form called IRS Form 8822 to let the IRS know where you're now living or receiving mail. Note that while it's a good idea to set up mail forwarding with the U.S. postal service, the postal service won't always forward government checks to a new address for security purposes. That means that if you're expecting a refund and tell the postal service but not the IRS, you might not receive your check at your new address.
On Form 8822, indicate your name and Social Security number along with your old and new addresses. If you're separating or divorcing from a spouse, check the appropriate box. If you're getting married or divorced and one or both spouses are changing their names as well, indicate their new and old names on the forms as well.
The IRS doesn't usually forward your information to other government agencies, so if you are doing business with other state or federal agencies, you should update your address separately. You can file an online Social Security change of address Form 8822 equivalent, for example, if you're receiving Social Security benefits. You may also want to update your address with your state tax agency or multiple agencies if you're moving from one state to another or pay taxes in multiple states. The form's instructions indicate where to mail it.
Business and EIN Address Change
If you have an employer identification number for a business and the business or a person responsible for handling business tax matters changes an address, you should notify the IRS. Use Form 8822-B for a business change of address.
You can also use this form if the person responsible for the business is changing. Either way, indicate the business name and EIN, the old and new address of the business if applicable, a new primary business location if that's applicable and, if need be, the name and Social Security number or other taxpayer ID of the new responsible party. Indicate in the appropriate area if your business is tax exempt, such as if you run a 501(c)(3) charity.
Have the business owner, an officer or representative sign the form and mail it to the indicated address. Consult the instructions on the back or second page of the form for details. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to notify other federal, state or local agencies when you change your business address.
Tax Law Changes for 2018
Many aspects of the tax code changed for tax year 2018, but the rules around changes of address are staying the same.
Tax Year 2017 and Earlier
If you're still corresponding with the IRS about earlier tax years or awaiting a refund, it's important to make sure the IRS has your current address. File Form 8822 or Form 8822-B as needed and include your current address on any correspondence.
Steven Melendez is an independent journalist with a background in technology and business. He has written for a variety of business publications including Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, Innovation Leader and Ad Age. He was awarded the Knight Foundation scholarship to Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.