Does It Matter What Address You Put When You File Taxes?

When you file your taxes, you definitely want all the information on the forms to be accurate. And this includes your address. While the IRS acknowledges that people make mistakes on their returns, if your address is incorrect, you may not receive important and timely correspondence — and that can result in steep penalties and fees.

Does It Matter What Address You Put When You File Taxes?
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If You Moved During the Year

You need to keep the address the IRS has on file for you current. This means if you move, you should let the IRS know as soon as possible. If you filed taxes and then moved, you need to file a change of address with the IRS in case there is anything wrong with your return and they need to contact you. Go to the IRS website and download IRS Form 8822, Change of Address, to update your address. Even if you're filing for a previous year, you must use your current address — where you live and receive mail — on your return. In the event the IRS cannot get in contact with you, you're still responsible for any penalties or fees you owe.

How to Change Your Address

In addition to using IRS form 8822, you can update your information by using your new address when you file taxes for the current year; by sending the IRS a written statement that contains your full name, old address, new address and Social Security number, ITIN or EIN; or by calling the IRS directly. Filing a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service may also alert the IRS of your new address. However, not all post offices forward address changes to the IRS, so you should not rely on this. Even if you file a change with the USPS, you need to make sure the IRS has the most current address and information for you.

If you filed jointly and reside at the same address as your spouse, you both need to update your address information with the IRS. But if you filed a joint return and do not live at the same address as your spouse anymore, you and your spouse must contact the IRS to notify them of the separate new addresses.

Regardless of the manner in which you change your address with the IRS, the process can take four to six weeks to fully complete.