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Posted by Jim McClaflin, EA, NTPI Fellow, CTRC

Notifying Uncle Sam of Your Address Change: Why and How to do it

Notifying Uncle Sam of Your Address Change: Why and How to do it

When you change your location, many entities need to be updated on such status changes – credit card firms, fitness memberships, magazine subs, etc. There is a big probability that many will not change their address with some of these firms. 

Not alerting Uncle Sam off your change of address is one of the most horrible mistakes you don't want to be guilty of. If you fail to inform the IRS of your address change, there could be severe consequences. 

Importance of Immediate Update

Since many people only deal with Uncle Sam once a year, it’s not on the list of their priority to update Uncle Sam of their address change. However, they will likely get your new address when you tender your latest tax return. Even though this is true, whatever tax correspondence they send you when you move will go to your old and last known address. Yet, losing correspondence from Uncle Sam is not something you want. 

You might get a letter from Uncle Sam on your tax return that needs urgent attention. Uncle Sam already fulfilled its legal obligation no matter where the letter landed, even if it is your old address, and they are not responsible for the incorrect address.  As a result, if you didn’t get the letter since you are no longer available in the building, you will still be responsible for any repercussions (penalty, late fees, etc.) from lack of response. 

For tax refund sent via check, chances are it will be sent to your old address if you move without updating your address. Even if the check automatically finds its way to your new address, you will lose time getting the funds. 

With this, ensure Uncle Sam is one of the firms you will update when moving. Waiting until filing the following year's tax return might not be a good move. If you feel Uncle Sam has no reason to contact you, updating your address will only take a couple of minutes, and the consequence of not doing so is not worth it. 

Submitting Your Change of Address

There are three options for updating your address with Uncle Sam. 

  1. Fill and Submit the IRS change of address form. Ensure to submit this form on paper, which doesn't take too long. Form 8822 is available for printing from the Uncle Sam website. From the form's second page, you will get the address to mail the form. Ensure you forward the document to the proper IRS division based on your old address, not the new one. 

  2. Alternatively, you can write Uncle Sam with your signature, which includes the following:

  • Your complete name

  • Previous and new address

  • ITIN, SSN, and EIN

This letter should be mailed to the last location where your previous tax return was sent. 

  1. Finally, you can walk into any IRS location and inform Uncle Sam orally. This can be done in person if you live near the IRS office. Also, calling the IRS office and providing such info is possible. Your identity will be verified to grant your request. As a result, you will supply your full name, address, SSN, date of birth, EIN, or ITIN when asked. 

Forms for Independent Kids and Spouse 

People with adult kids who live with them but file their taxes must complete and submit their change of address form. All kids in your home who files their tax return need to do this.

However, you and your married partner can use a single change of address form, no matter your filing status – jointly or separately, provided you are living together. However, if both parties already have a separate address, submitting a personal change of address form is essential. 


Uncle Sam always needs to have the correct address so that you never miss any notification or correspondence on your tax. 



Jim McClaflin, EA, NTPI Fellow, CTRC
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