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Common IRS Notices

CP 09 - Earned Income Credit You May Be Entitled To

This notice sent from the IRS is to alert the taxpayer that they may be eligible to receive the refundable Earned Income Credit based on the data supplied on their return. The notice contains a questionnaire to complete and submit to the IRS for the Earned Income Credit claim. After completing the questionnaire, if the taxpayer determines they qualify for the Earned Income Credit, the questionnaire must be signed and mailed back to the IRS for issuance of an additional refund.

CP 10 - Changes to Tax Return, Reduced Amount Applied Toward Payment of Your Estimated Tax

The IRS has adjusted your tax return which affected the amount of the refund applied to the following year's estimated tax payments as requested on the tax return. The notice explains the changes to the tax return and the resulting adjustment to the amount applied to the estimated payments, you should adjust your tax return and estimated payment records to match the IRS records if you agree with the change.

CP 11 - Changes to Tax Return, Balance Due

This notice is issued to inform the taxpayer that the IRS has adjusted their tax return and there is a balance due because of the adjustment. The notice will explain the changes to the tax return and request payment of the balance due.

CP 11A - Changes to Tax Return and EIC, Balance Due

The IRS has adjusted your tax return including the Earned Income Credit (EIC) and there is a balance due because of the adjustment. The notice explains the changes to the tax return and the EIC. If you do not agree with the change, call or write to the IRS at the phone number or address given in the header of the notice.

CP 12 - Changes to Tax Return, Overpayment

This notice is issued to inform the taxpayer that the IRS has made changes to their return which results in an adjusted overpayment that will be refunded within 4 to 6 weeks if no other taxes or past due debts are owed.

CP 13/CP 13A - Changes to Tax Return, No Refund and No Balance Due

The IRS has made changes to your tax return and there is nothing owed or no refund based on the adjustment (CP 13A involves changes to the Earned Income Credit). The notice explains the changes to the tax return (and/or Earned Income Credit). If you agree with the adjustment(s), make the appropriate changes to your tax return record. If you do not agree with the change, call or write to the IRS at the phone number or address given in the header section of the notice.

CP 14 - Balance Due, No Math Error

CP 14 shows the underpaid tax according to IRS records. The notice shows the tax reported on the return, the payments the IRS applied to your account, and the remaining underpayment they have calculated. Generally, this is caused by a misapplied or missing payment. Check the payments as outlined on the notice the IRS has applied to your account and compare them to your records. If the IRS has missed a payment you made, you will need to provide information to document the payment so they can locate the payment and properly credit your account. Additional interest and penalties may accrue if the balance is not paid in full by the due date. If you do not agree with the additional tax due, a response should be made to the IRS as soon as possible to settle the issue with your account.

CP 16 - Changes to Tax Return, Overpayment Applied to Balance Due

The IRS has adjusted your tax return and these changes affect your refund. The notice explains the changes to the tax return and the amount of the overpayment that was applied to your tax balance from prior year returns. If you agree with the adjustment, make the changes to your tax return records to reflect the IRS adjustment. If you do not agree with the change, call or write to the IRS at the phone number or address given in the header section of the notice.

CP 21B - Data Processing Adjustment Notice, Overpayment of $1 or More

This is not a bill - the IRS has made changes you requested to your tax return and there was an overpayment based on this adjustment. You will be receiving an additional tax refund within 2-3 weeks of the notice. The notice explains the changes to the tax return. If you agree with the adjustment(s) make the appropriate changes to your tax return record. If you do not agree with the change, call or write to the IRS at the phone number or address given in the header section of the notice.

CP 22A - Data Processing Adjustment Notice, Balance Due of $5 or More

This notice informs the taxpayer that the IRS has made changes to their return based upon the information the taxpayer has provided. Due to these changes, additional taxes are now due.

CP 22E - Examination Adjustment Notice, Balance Due

This notice informs the taxpayer of a balance due because of an audit examination of their return.

CP 23 - Estimated Tax Payment Discrepancy, Balance Due

This notice informs the taxpayer that the estimated tax payments received by the IRS and posted to their account does not match the tax payments claimed on the return, leaving a balance due. There may also be information included for any changes made to the return. The notice shows the credits the IRS has received for the taxpayer's account and explains the changes to the tax return if applicable. If you agree with the adjustment, make the changes to your tax return records to reflect the IRS adjustment. If you do not agree with the changes, call or write to the IRS at the phone number or address given in the header section of the notice. When contacting the IRS with differences, make certain to have your payment information, canceled checks, and tax returns available to assist in documenting the differences.

CP 32A - We Want to Send You a New Refund Check

The IRS is contacting your because their records indicate there is an outstanding refund check issued to the taxpayer - the refund check is outdated and no longer valid. If you still have the check, destroy it and contact the IRS to receive a new refund check. If the check is lost contact the IRS at the number on the notice to verify your information and receive a new refund check.

Note. If you filed a joint return, the IRS will send a copy to each spouse that contains the same information.

CP 45 - Reduced Amount Applied Toward Payment of Your Estimated Tax

The IRS was unable to apply the taxpayer's overpayment to the following year's taxes as requested on the return. This could be caused by an adjustment to the filed return or the IRS record of payments made did not match the payments claimed on the return. The notice could also be generated if the IRS offset the refund against other taxes owed or other debts outstanding which are legally collectible through the IRS offset program.

CP 49 - Overpaid Taxes Applied to Other Taxes You Owe

This notice informs the taxpayer that the IRS is taking all or a portion of the overpayment (refund) from one account and applying it to an underpayment (balance due) for another account.

Note. There may be additional information on the notice regarding protection from your spouse's debts (Injured Spouse Relief).

CP 54B/CP 54E/CP 54G/CP 54Q - Problem with Name and Identifying Number

The CP 54 series of notices is issued to alert the taxpayer that:

  • there is a problem with name and identifying number on the tax return or the estimates paid, or
  • the IRS is holding a refund for a prior year because the name and Social Security Number (SSN) or IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on the recipient's tax return didn't match information in IRS records or records provided by the Social Security Administration.

This notice is now only applicable to paper-filed returns, as the IRS has Name and Identification number verification in place for electronically-filed returns.

CP 59 - First Notice Request for Your Tax Return

If you have received this notice, it means you have failed to file a tax return. The type of return and tax period will be shown in the upper right corner as well as in the body of the notice. You received this notice because the IRS has reason to think you meet the filing requirements and they have not received a return. File your return as soon as possible or you will need to explain to the IRS why you don't need to file.

CP 75/CP 75A/CP 75B - EIC Portion of the Refund Delayed

The CP 75 series of notices are issued to inform the taxpayer that their Earned Income Credit (EIC) portion of their refund is being delayed while the IRS is examining the return or determining their eligibility. The notice will state why the IRS is delaying the EIC portion of your refund and what information or documentation you need to provide so the determination of your tax refund can be completed. The notice may contain other forms to complete and submit to the IRS within 30 days of the notice date. Enclose any forms and copies of original documents required to establish your eligibility to claim the EIC on the tax return.

CP 79 - Earned Income Credit Eligibility Requirement

The CP 79 is sent by the IRS to notify the taxpayer that they will need to complete another form (Form 8862 Information To Claim Certain Credits After Disallowance) to claim the Earned Income Credit (EIC) on a future tax return. This is generally caused by the taxpayer being disallowed or receiving a reduced EIC. The IRS may also contact the taxpayer after receiving Form 8862 to request any documentation it requires to issue the EIC.

CP 79A - Earned Income Credit Two Year Ban

The CP 79A is sent by the IRS to notify the taxpayer that they are banned from claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) and will need to complete another Form 8862 Information To Claim Certain Credits After Disallowance to claim the EIC on a future tax return. This is generally caused by the taxpayer being disallowed or receiving a reduced EIC. The IRS may also contact the taxpayer after receiving Form 8862 to request any documentation it requires to issue the EIC.

CP 90/CP 297 - Final Notice - Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing

This notice is to tell you that the IRS intends to levy or legally seize property to satisfy your tax debt. The notice gives you 30 days from the date of the notice to pay the debt, to enter into an installment agreement, or propose an Offer in Compromise. You also have the right to file a request for an Appeals Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing request as described in Publication 1660 Collection Appeal Rights which is usually enclosed with the notice. If you don't pay, or make arrangements to pay, the balance due, the IRS may levy against any federal payments due to you. They may also file a Federal Tax Lien giving them legal claim to your property as security or payment for your tax debt.

CP 91/CP 298 - Final Notice Before Levy on Social Security Benefits

The IRS issues this notice to inform the taxpayer that they intend to levy against their Social Security Benefits. The notice contains the steps necessary to be taken within 30 days to prevent the IRS from this action. The taxpayer has a balance due on their account for which they have previously received a notice. The balance due is still outstanding and the IRS intends to take up to 15% of their Social Security Benefits to pay it.

CP 161 - Balance Due - Request for Payment or Notice of Unpaid Balance

The CP 161 is not a math error notice. It shows the underpaid tax according to the IRS records. CP 161 shows the tax you reported on the return, the payments the IRS applied, and the resulting underpayment the IRS has on record. This notice is a reconciliation issue and the starting point is generally to compare the payments made from your records to the payments in the IRS records. If the payments you made reconcile with the payments recorded by the IRS, pay the balance due by the due date on the notice. If you cannot pay the balance in full, contact the IRS to possibly set up an installment agreement. If one of your payments made is missing from the IRS listing, contact the IRS with documentation of the payment - cancelled check, direct debit information, etc.

CP 501 - Balance Due Reminder Notice

This is the first reminder notice that you have a balance due on a tax account. The IRS has previously sent a notice about a balance due on a tax account. This reminder notice alerts you that there is an outstanding balance and, if not paid within 10 days, the possible actions the IRS may take.

CP 504 - Urgent Notice - Balance Due

This is the final notice that you have a balance due on a tax account. The IRS has previously sent the taxpayer notices about a balance due on a tax account. This urgent notice alerts you that there is an outstanding balance and the IRS intends to levy or take your state tax refunds.

CP 523 - Notice of Intent to Levy - You Defaulted on Your Installment Agreement

This is a notice the taxpayer would receive if he or she has an installment agreement with the IRS for an outstanding tax balance and the IRS considers you in default on your installment agreement. Examples of default causing actions are: missing a payment, new balance due, or not filing a tax return. The notice also informs you of what the IRS intends to do to collect the taxes owed, which can include filing a federal tax lien or seizing (levying) your wages and/or bank accounts. You have 30 days from the date of the notice to contact the IRS and resolve the issue. The installment agreement may be reinstated (an additional fee may apply) or if the issue cannot be resolved you have the right to file an appeal.

CP 2000 - Notice of Underreported Income

IRS Notice CP 2000 is referred to as the Notice of Proposed Adjustment for Underpayment/Overpayment and is the most common notice sent out by the IRS. The IRS compares informational returns filed by companies on Forms W-2, 1098, 1099, etc. with information as reported by the taxpayer on their return, and issues a CP 2000 if they find differences in income, deductions, credits, and/or payments.

Letter 531- Notice of Deficiency

You will get this letter if you owe additional tax or other amounts for the tax year(s) listed in the letter. The letter explains how to dispute the adjustments if you do not agree. If you want to dispute the adjustments without payment, you will have 90 days from the notice date to file a petition with the Tax Court.

Letter 525 - Examination Report

IRS Letter 525 is issued to inform the taxpayer of proposed changes stemming from an IRS examination. The letter explains the changes to the tax return and requests payment of the balance due (or outlines the amount of the adjusted refund).

Letter 12C - Information Request

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, includes a provision that eliminates the requirement to repay excess advance premium tax credits for tax year 2020. The IRS issues Letter 12C to inform a taxpayer that their return has been received, but additional information is needed in order to process the return. If your Letter 12C indicates that Form 8962 Premium Tax Credit (PTC) was missing and not attached to your return, you will need to send the completed Form 8962 to the IRS. You do NOT need to amend your return, so there is no need to submit Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Following this process will ensure a faster refund than mailing the 1040-X to the IRS. This procedure only applies to taxpayers who received a Form 1095-A Health Insurance Marketplace Statement.

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