How To Tell the IRS About a Change of Address


The Balance / Julie Bang

Key Takeaways

Why tell the IRS that you're moving?

  • You can be sure that any forms or letters 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.
  • There are five ways to tell the IRS your new address: Form 8822, your tax return, by phone to a local office, in person, by mail.

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 the IRS provides and mailing it to the agency. You can also update another person's address, such as that of 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 indicate your change of 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

Notify the IRS 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 (EIN) 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 file a joint return and are both changing your address, or the one who isn't going in person should provide a written statement.

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.

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 and your spouse should both sign the written statement if you file a joint return and have both 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.

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 such as a parent, child, or spouse—if you aren't that person's 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 sending documents or other communications. 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 facing 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. That 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 it 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I fill out Form 8822?

To fill out Form 8822, you'll need your and your spouse's name and Social Security numbers. You'll also need to fill in any prior names you or your spouse have used. You'll fill in your previous address and your new address, then sign and date the form. There are also lines for representatives to use if they fill out the form.

Can I change my address with the IRS online?

While you have several options for changing your address with the IRS, you can't do it online. You can change your address with the post office online, which may update your address with the IRS. If you're expecting a check, you should still contact the IRS to update your address, as not all post offices forward government checks.

How long does it take for the IRS to update my address?

It can take the IRS four to six weeks to update your address, so it's best to get your new address submitted as soon as possible.

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  1. IRS. "How Do I Notify the IRS My Address Has Changed?"

  2. IRS. "Instructions for Form 2848," Page 2.

  3. IRS. "Internal Revenue Bulletin: 2010-19: Rev. Proc. 2010-16."

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