How to Tell the IRS About a Change of Address

You can notify the IRS that you have moved in one of five ways

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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're their authorized representative.

How to Update Your Address With the IRS

You can use one of five different methods to change your address.

Use Form 8822

Download and fill out Form 8822. The instructions are included on the second page of the form, which also tells you where you should mail your completed and signed form. Use Form 8822-B if you want to change your business mailing address or location.

Use Your Tax Return

Use your new address on your tax return when you file it for the year. The IRS will update its records to match the address on your return.

Call the IRS

Contact the IRS to notify them of your change of address by calling a local office. You'll have to provide some identifying information, including your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, old address, and new address. You'll need your employer identification number for a business.

The agent you speak with may also request additional information to verify your identity.

Visit the IRS 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. You and your spouse should go together if you filed a joint return and you're both changing your address, or the one who isn't going in person should provide a written statement.

Taxpayer Assistance Centers were closed early in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the IRS began reopening them in phases in June. A different rule is in place, however—you must call ahead to 844-545-5640 and make an appointment.

Send Notice 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 your date of birth.

Be sure your statement includes both your printed name and your signature. Send your statement to the address where you would send a paper tax return. You should both sign the written statement if you filed a joint return with your spouse and you've jointly changed your address.

The IRS generally updates its records within four to six weeks of receiving information about new addresses, although this period can be delayed during the busy tax filing season and due to staffing adjustments resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

The IRS generally updates its records within four to six weeks of receiving information about new addresses, although this period can be delayed during the busy tax filing season and due to manpower adjustments resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

How to Update Someone Else's Address

You can file a change of address on someone else's behalf if you're authorized to represent them in tax matters. You and the person you're representing should both fill out Form 2848 for you to become their authorized representative. This grants you power of attorney regarding their tax matters.

You can't change someone else's address, even if you're a relative, parent, child, or spouse, if you aren't their authorized representative.

Bring or mail in a copy of Form 2848 along with the other change of address materials when you contact the IRS to change that person's address. You should also provide identifying information for both yourself and the person you're representing.

Ensure a Smooth Change

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

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

  • Hold off on filing your income tax return until after you've moved if you plan to relocate during the first four months of the year before the tax filing deadline. You can file your tax return with your new address, and your refund check will be sent there.
  • File both a personal change of address form and a business change of address form if you also have a business at your home.
  • Couples who are separating should each file a change of address form even if only one person is moving to a new address. This will enable the IRS to locate each taxpayer individually.
  • The U.S. Postal Service will usually forward any letters or refund checks from the IRS if you notify them of your change of address, but you should still file a change of address with the IRS to ensure that there's no miscommunication or lost paperwork.

Key Takeaways

Why tell the IRS that you're moving?

  • You can be sure that any forms or letters that the IRS mails you regarding your taxes will reach you on time.
  • Your refund check will go to the correct place if you're expecting to receive it in the mail.
  • Tax paperwork and forms for your business will go to the correct address if you're self-employed and work out of your home.

Article Sources

  1. IRS. "IRS Statement on Taxpayer Assistance Centers." Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.

  2. IRS. "Question: How Do I Notify the IRS My Address Has Changed?" Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.

  3. IRS. "Third Party Authorization Purpose." Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.

  4. IRS. "Internal Revenue Bulletin: 2010-19: Rev. Proc. 2010-16." Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.