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Did You Get A Letter From The IRS? Don’t Panic.

Ever open your mailbox to find a letter from the IRS and feel your heart skip a beat? In the past, tax refunds meant a check, but these days, the IRS communicates primarily through correspondence. While an IRS notice can be unsettling, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to understand those often cryptic CP notices (Correspondence Potential) and navigate potential tax issues calmly and efficiently.

Why Do I Get a CP Notice from the IRS?

The IRS uses CP notices to communicate a variety of things related to your tax return. These notices can range from informing you about a potential error to requesting additional documentation or alerting you of a refund. The most important thing to remember is that the IRS will never initiate contact via phone call or email regarding tax issues. If you receive a call or email claiming to be from the IRS, it’s a scam – simply hang up or delete the message.

Understanding the Different Types of CP Notices

There are over 150 variations of CP notices, each with a specific purpose. While we can’t cover them all here, let’s explore some common examples to give you a better idea:

  • CP01C: Identity theft alert. The IRS suspects someone used your Social Security number to file a tax return.
  • CP05A: Verification documents needed. The IRS requires documentation to support specific tax return entries.
  • CP05B: Refund hold due to income mismatch. The IRS found discrepancies between your reported income and third-party reports (employers, banks).
  • CP12: Tax return correction notice. The IRS adjusted your return, resulting in a refund or change in your original overpayment.
  • CP14: Unpaid tax bill notice. You owe money on unpaid taxes. Options include payment, payment plan, or contesting the amount.
  • CP27: Earned Income Credit (EIC) eligibility notice. The IRS believes you qualify for the EIC but didn’t claim it.
  • CP49: Refund used to offset tax debt. All or part of your refund was used to settle an existing tax debt.
  • CP54E: Name/ID mismatch notice. The IRS has a name or ID number discrepancy on your return.
  • CP59: Missing tax return notice. The IRS has no record of you filing your previous tax return(s).
  • CP81: Unfiled tax return notice. The IRS hasn’t received your tax return for a specific year, and the deadline to claim refunds is nearing expiration.
  • CP112: Refund due to IRS recalculation. The IRS recalculated your return due to a miscalculation, resulting in a refund.
  • CP161: Unpaid balance due notice. You have an outstanding tax balance.
  • CP180/CP181: Missing form or schedule notice. Your tax return is missing a required schedule or form.
  • CP237/CP237A: Replacement refund check notice. The IRS sent you a replacement refund check (CP237) or requires you to call for a replacement (CP237A).
  • CP240: Employment tax discrepancy. There’s a mismatch between your reported employment income and W-2/1099 forms submitted to the IRS by your employer(s).
  • CP501: Balance due notice. You have an outstanding balance on one of your tax accounts.
  • CP516: Missing tax return (multiple years) notice. The IRS still has no record of you filing your past tax returns.
  • CP521/CP621: Installment payment due notice. This is a reminder of your upcoming installment payment for your tax debt.
  • CP523/CP623: Installment agreement termination notice. The IRS intends to terminate your installment agreement and seize assets due to default.
  • CP518: Missing business tax return (multiple years) notice (Business version of CP516). The IRS has no record of you filing your past business tax returns.
  • CP2000: Proposed tax return change notice. The IRS proposes adjustments to your tax return, often unfavorable. You have the opportunity to dispute the proposed changes.

What to Do When You Receive a CP Notice

Don’t panic! Most importantly, respond by the deadline specified in the notice, usually 30 days. Here’s a recommended course of action:

  • Read the Notice Carefully: Understand the specific issue and what the IRS is requesting.
  • Gather Documents: If verification documents are needed, collect them promptly.
  • Seek Professional Help: Consider contacting a tax professional like us. We can review the notice, determine its accuracy, and advise you on the best course of action. For current clients, we can handle the entire process for you.
  • Respond on Time: Meet the deadline for responding, even if it’s just to request an extension. Ignoring the notice will only escalate the issue.

We Can Help!

Dealing with the IRS can be stressful, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’ve received a CP notice and are unsure how to proceed, contact our office. We can help you understand the notice, determine the best course of action, and ensure a smooth resolution.

  • The IRS primarily communicates via mail, not phone or email.
  • CP notices come in many varieties, each with a specific purpose.
  • Respond promptly to any CP notice you receive.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek professional help from a tax advisor.

By understanding CP notices and taking proactive steps, you can navigate potential tax issues with confidence and minimize any stress.

JS Morlu LLC is a top-tier accounting firm based in Woodbridge, Virginia, with a team of highly experienced and qualified CPAs and business advisors. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive accounting, tax, and business advisory services to clients throughout the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and the surrounding regions. With over a decade of experience, we have cultivated a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and aspirations. We recognize that our clients seek more than just value-added accounting services; they seek a trusted partner who can guide them towards achieving their business goals and personal financial well-being.
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