The IRS uses Letter 3286C to inform you that they believe you may have overpaid for a particular year. They indicate that they will refund you the difference.
But, if you owe other taxes & there is any excess the IRS applies the over-payment to any other balance due. But, the order in which payments are made is extremely important. The IRS will apply your payments to the earliest year for which you owe.
However, because of the collection statute of limitations, it is usually to your advantage to designate any voluntary payments you make to the IRS. Amounts you pay through a payment plan or a levy are not considered voluntary.
Response to Letter 3286C
If you agree with the IRS then there is no need to hire an attorney. But, if you have questions or problems with designation of voluntary payments, please follow the Prep Steps & call TaxHelpLaw.
Often, your questions can be adequately answered by the tax return preparers at TaxHelpReturns.