How to Tell the IRS About a Change of Address

There are five ways you can notify the IRS that you have moved

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It's a good idea to let the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) know as soon as possible if you move.

You can update your address over the phone or by filling out a form that the IRS provides and mailing it to the agency. You can also update another person's address, such as an elderly parent or relative, if you are their authorized representative.

Why tell the IRS you are moving?

  • Any forms or letters that the IRS mails you regarding your taxes will reach you on time.
  • If you receive a refund check in the mail, it will go to the correct place.
  • If you are self-employed or a sole proprietor and work out of your home, tax paperwork and forms for your business will go to the correct address.

How to Update Your Address With the IRS

There are five different methods you can use to change your address.

  1. Form. Download and fill out Form 8822. The instructions are included in the same file, on the second page. Page two also tells you where you will need to mail your completed and signed form. If you need to change your business mailing address or location, use Form 8822-B.
  2. Tax return. When you file your tax return for the year, use your new address. The IRS will update your records to match the address on your return.
  3. Phone. Contact the IRS by calling a local office to notify them of your change of address. You will need to provide identifying information, including your full name, date of birth, social security number (or employer identification number for a business), old address, and new address. The agent you speak to may also request additional information to verify your identity.
  4. In person. You can visit your nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center to report a change of address in person. The agent you speak with will need the same identifying information that you would provide over the phone. if you filed a joint return with your spouse and are both changing your address, you should either go together or the person who is not going in person should provide a written statement.
  5. In writing. You can notify the IRS of your change of address with a written and signed statement. Provide your full name, old address, new address, social security number or other tax ID number, and date of birth. Be sure your statement has both your printed name and your signature. Send your statement to the address where you would send a paper tax return. If you filed a joint return with your spouse and have both changed your address, you should both sign the written statement.

The IRS generally updates its records within four to six weeks of receiving information about a new address, although this period can be delayed during the busy tax filing season.

How to Update Someone Else's Address With the IRS

If you are authorized to represent another person in tax matters, you can file a change of address on that person's behalf. To become an authorized representative, you and the person you are representing both need to fill out Form 2848. This grants you power of attorney regarding tax matters.

If you are not an authorized representative, you cannot change another person's address, even if you are a relative, parent, child, or spouse.

When you contact the IRS to change that person's address, you will need to either bring or mail in a copy of Form 2848 along with the other change of address materials. You should also provide identifying information for both yourself and the person you are representing.

Ensure a Smooth Change of Address With the IRS

The IRS is authorized to use a taxpayer's last known address when sending documents or other communication. This means that any documents or notices sent to the address the IRS has on file are legally effective, even if you are no longer living there and do not receive them.

You can avoid missing important government communication and dealing with unintended financial or legal penalties by taking steps to ensure that your change of address is processed smoothly and quickly.

  • If you plan to move in the first four months of the year and before April 15, hold off on filing your income tax return until after you have moved. This way you can file your tax return with your new address, and your refund check will be sent to your new address.
  • If you also have a business at your home, be sure to file both a personal change of address form and a business change of address.
  • Couples who are separating should each file a change of address form even if only one person is moving to a new address. This way the IRS will be able to locate each taxpayer individually.
  • If you notify the United States Postal Service of your change of address, they will usually forward any letters or refund checks from the IRS. However, you should still file a change of address with the IRS to ensure that there is no miscommunication or lost paperwork.

Article Sources

  1. Internal Revenue Service. "Question: How Do I Notify the IRS My Address Has Changed?" Accessed Feb. 15, 2020.

  2. Internal Revenue Service. "Third Party Authorization Purpose." Accessed Feb. 15, 2020.

  3. Internal Revenue Service. "Internal Revenue Bulletin: 2010-19: Rev. Proc. 2010-16." Accessed Feb. 15, 2020.