Dealing with IRS Form 4564: Information Document Request

June 9, 2024 | Tax Audits

What Is the IRS Information Document Request (IDR) Form 4564?

If you’re going through a tax audit, you have a lot on your plate, not to mention stress about what the final outcome will be. Audits happen for a variety of reasons for both businesses and individuals, and some may seem random. The goal is for audits to get resolved as fast and as easily as possible. You’ll need to become familiar with IRS Form 4564 if you’re being audited. This form is the IRS’s tax information document request (IDR) form, which requests details from taxpayers related to their personal information, taxes, and financials. Taxpayers need to respond to this form as soon as possible and follow all applicable instructions to avoid further issues. So, what does IRS Form 4564 entail, and what does the IDR process look like? This post walks through it all.

What Is an IDR? The Purpose of IRS Form 4564

When the IRS initiates an audit with a taxpayer, the agency is attempting to get more information and clarification about tax compliance. Key in this process is gathering as many details as possible, which is where IRS Form 4564 comes in. The IRS is just asking you to send in additional documentation that supports your tax return. The most common scenario when you’d receive Form 4564 is at the start of, or during, a tax audit. The IRS will request any extra information it needs with this form to begin the case and move things forward. Scenarios when you could have to deal with an audit could be when you made a mistake on your tax return, or you were randomly selected through the IRS’s automated screening system. In reality, very few taxpayers are audited—only 0.2% of individual income tax returns are audited. On its own, the form is very bare bones. The name of the taxpayer, including the company division or branch if part of a business, is listed under the “To:” field at the top. There will also be a subject, SAIN number, “Submitted to:” field, and dates of previous requests. Pay attention to these details to ensure everything makes sense to you and is correct. Part 2 of Form 4564 is where you’ll provide your information. This part states, “Description of documents requested,” where you will list out any documents you’re sending that the IRS asks for, whether tax forms, tax returns, financial account information, or other documentation. Then, you’ll send in this form with those documents as attachments. Sometimes, this part of the form will be filled out when you get it, and if so, those are the documents you need to send in.

Tips for Responding to Form 4564

You’ll usually only receive Form 4564 after the IRS sends you an audit notice, so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise. But how should you respond? These tips will help you ensure you don’t miss anything:
  • Read all information carefully: Audits are serious business, and you want to fully understand what’s being asked of you and why. Read through the request a few times so you don’t miss anything important.
  • Respond ASAP: Form 4564, or any notice from the IRS for that matter, should never be ignored. You’re already dealing with an audit, and you want to avoid any further actions the IRS could take, including a summons. Respond as soon as you can.
  • Provide accurate, complete information: Make sure you provide all details and documents the IRS needs. Confirm that the information is the most accurate, and double-check for errors.
  • Don’t provide information that’s not requested: Many taxpayers mistakenly think they need to provide all their financial information and every little detail to the IRS. But all you need to send is exactly what the agency requests—no more, no less.
  • Keep information organized: Submit your documents in an easily accessible, well-organized manner. You don’t want the IRS to have to dig through a lot of paperwork and confusion just to get the details they need to move forward.
  • Follow instructions for submission: The IRS will outline precise details for how to respond to their request and where to send your documents. Follow these guidelines carefully to ensure prompt delivery. Each case and IRS agent may be different and have different expectations.
  • Talk to a tax expert: You don’t necessarily have to go through a tax audit on your own. Discuss your audit and your Form 4564 IDR with a tax professional to get help navigating this situation. You never want to make a mistake that will make your situation worse or lead to time in court.
The best steps you can take are being prompt and thorough. Your IRS notices will likely include contact information should you need to contact the IRS about something you don’t agree with.

What Happens If You Don’t Comply with an IDR?

An IDR request via Form 4564 isn’t optional. The IRS needs the requested information from you to proceed with an audit or to close your case. Failing to respond promptly will likely lead to additional actions. The IRS agent involved with your case may issue a summons when you ignore or fail to comply with a notice. The IRS can summon information from you and third parties. If you continue to ignore your responsibilities and don’t comply with that summons, you could even face criminal charges. So, what would a court summons entail? The IRS outlines this process for IDR summons:
  • You would first receive a delinquency notice regarding the late or ignored IDR Form 4564.
  • Next would be a pre-summons letter indicating that failing to send your information will lead to a summons.
  • The final step is receiving an actual summons from the IRS.
If an agent issues a court summons, you may need to appear in court to testify. This means on top of the information you already have to send in—which is still a requirement at this stage—you’ll also have to talk about your financial situation under oath in court. This is a serious step in the process. A summons doesn’t always mean you’ll have charges filed against you, but it could lead to that. If you don’t comply with the summons, you may be charged with a crime. These are all situations you want to do everything in your power to avoid.

What to Expect After Responding to an IRS IDR

The audit process will continue to move forward if you respond to the IDR in a timely manner and provide all requested information. The IRS agent assigned to your case will review the financial details you provided as well as your tax returns. If the agency gets the clarity they’re looking for, the case will hopefully be closed. Another outcome is a subsequent IDR request from the IRS if the agent needs more information to understand the case. In rare cases, the IRS may find issues with your tax compliance that could lead to further investigations, fines, penalties, tax fraud charges, or tax evasion. Either way, you’ll be notified of the results of the audit. The three different outcomes of an audit are no change, agreed, and disagreed. No change is the simplest to resolve, as it means that the auditor agrees with how you originally filed your return, and no changes need to be made. Agreed means that changes were made to your return, but you agreed with them. Disagreed means there is a disagreement between the parties about the audit’s findings. If there is a disagreement, you can generally appeal, but you only have a limited time to do so. Always talk about audit results and IDR requests with a tax expert who understands tax law and your rights as a taxpayer.

A Look at Taxpayers’ Rights during an Audit

Remember that it’s not just the taxpayer who has to follow the law and comply accordingly. The IRS cannot be unnecessarily intrusive during an audit. Agents must respect taxpayer protections in place related to due process, search and seizures, and collections. Additionally, taxpayers also have a right to confidentiality. It’s important that the IRS doesn’t disclose or use your requested personal information in an illegal way. Taxpayers also have a right to get legal representation in tax matters, such as a tax attorney. They can use this representative to take on their IRS communications and dealings. The Taxpayer Advocate Service also states that taxpayers have the right to a fair and just tax system, meaning the IRS must take into account the unique facts and circumstances of each taxpayer when making decisions and taking serious actions. All of these rights are included as part of the Taxpayer Bills of Rights, adopted in 2014 by the IRS. Other rights outlined in this Bill of Rights include:
  • The right to be informed about how to comply with tax law
  • The right to receive quality service in IRS dealings
  • The right to only pay the amount of tax required
  • The right to challenge decisions made by the IRS and appeal these decisions
  • The right to know the amount of time allowed to challenge an IRS decision
While you have obligations as a taxpayer, remember that the IRS has requirements as well. Throughout an audit, these rights must be respected and followed by the IRS agent. Talk to a tax attorney if you have further questions about these rights or the IRS is not upholding these rights.

Contact a Tax Expert for Help with Form 4564

Receiving Form 4564 from the IRS doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You likely already know you’re being audited, and you simply need to follow instructions carefully and provide the requested documentation. Never ignore these notices, as you want to avoid court summons or even criminal charges. It’s best to turn to a tax attorney or CPA with questions and concerns about this process. Experts understand the tax laws that impact audits, as well as the implications of your specific situation. They can also help you complete Form 4564 properly and understand the next steps. A tax professional can help you facilitate and complete the audit process from start to finish, ensuring your taxpayer rights are protected along the way. Contact the tax experts at Timothy S. Hart Law Group. Our legal team will assist you with any tax problem you’re dealing with to get it resolved.

FAQs about IRS IDRs and Form 4564

When would I receive IRS Form 4564?

The IDR form is sent by the IRS when the agency needs more information during or before a tax audit. Don’t panic if you receive this form. Send all requested information to ensure compliance.

Can I send Form 4564 electronically?

The IRS often allows taxpayers to send in forms electronically, yes. However, because each case is treated differently, pay attention to what your notice states. Only file your form according to these instructions.

Is this Form 4564 I received legit?

Anytime you hear from the IRS, be cautious. This is especially true if you get a text, email, or phone call. The IRS usually sends correspondence in the regular mail. Unfortunately, many fraudsters try to get your personal and financial information. Confirm your Form 4564 is legitimate by reaching out to the IRS directly or going online to and searching for your form number. You can also ask a tax expert about your form.

What do I have to send the IRS with an IDR?

Here are a few examples of the financial information the IRS may request from you during an audit through an IDR:
  • Tax forms, such as a 1099 or W-2 form
  • Pay stubs
  • Proof of income
  • Bank account statements
  • Expense receipts
The most important thing is to follow the provided instructions and deliver all documentation requested in a timely manner.

Why am I being audited by the IRS?

The IRS may audit taxpayers for several reasons. You could be audited if you made an error on your tax return, the information the IRS received differs from what you provided, or you were randomly selected via automation. The IRS monitors for suspicious reporting or taxpayers who may be involved in other cases being audited.  

Attorney Timothy Hart

Timothy S Hart, the founding partner of the tax law firm of Timothy S. Hart Law Group, P.C. is both a New York Tax Lawyer & Certified Public Accountant. His area of expertise includes innovative solutions to solve your Internal Revenue Service and New York State tax problems, including tax settlements through the Federal and New York State offer in compromise programs, filing unfiled tax returns, voluntary disclosures, tax audits, and criminal investigations. [ Attorney Bio ]