IRS Certified Letters? Understanding Why You Got Them & What to Do

IRS Certified Letters? Understanding Why You Got Them & What to Do.

IRS Certified Letters? While most people don’t like being contacted by the IRS, many of their letters are no cause for panic. The Internal Revenue Service – IRS will send a notice or a certified letter for any number of reasons.

IRS Certified Letters?

It may be about a specific issue on your federal tax return or account or may tell you about changes to your account, ask you for more information, or request a payment. The most important piece of advice is: Don’t ever ignore a letter. If you can’t handle the situation on your own, reach out to a tax attorney for help.

What to Do First When You Get Certified Letters from IRS

The first thing to do is to check the return address to be sure it’s from the IRS and not another agency.

  • If it’s from the IRS, the notice will have instructions on how to respond. If you want more details about your tax account, you can order a transcript.
  • If it’s from another agency, such as a state tax department, you’ll need to call that office for an explanation.
  • If the letter is from the Department of the Treasury Bureau of the Fiscal Service, these notices are often sent when the IRS takes (offsets)some or part of your tax refund to cover another, non-IRS debt. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service only facilitates the transfers – it won’t have information about your IRS account or where the money is being sent.

Understanding your Notice

IRS certified notices and letters are numbered and provide contact information for questions. Both are usually shown in the upper right corner. The notice or letter will explain the reason for the contact and give instructions on how to handle the issue.

Each notice normally tells you:

  • What the IRS is changing on your return or account, or needs more information about
  • Why the IRS is making a change or needs that information
  • Where to send your reply and by when (if a reply is needed)

Common IRS Certified Notices or Letters

Common IRS Certified Notices or Letters

Notice Number Description
CP01H You received a CP 01H notice because we were unable to process your tax return. The IRS has locked your account because the Social Security Administration informed us that the Social Security number (SSN) of the primary or secondary taxpayer on the return belongs to someone who was deceased prior to the current tax year.
CP04 Our records show that you or your spouse served in a combat zone, a qualified contingency operation, or a hazardous duty station during the tax year specified on your notice. As a result, you may be eligible for tax deferment.
CP08 You may qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit and be entitled to some additional money.
CP09 We’ve sent you this notice because our records indicate you may be eligible for the Earned Income Credit (EIC), but didn’t claim it on your tax return.
CP10 We made a change(s) to your return because we believe there’s a miscalculation. This change(s) affected the estimated tax payment you wanted applied to your taxes for next year.
CP10A We made a change(s) to your return because we believe there’s a miscalculation involving your Earned Income Credit. This change(s) affected the estimated tax payment you wanted applied to your taxes for next year.
CP11 We made changes to your return because we believe there’s a miscalculation. You owe money on your taxes as a result of these changes.
CP11A We made changes to your return because we believe there’s a miscalculation involving your Earned Income Credit. You owe money on your taxes as a result of these changes.
CP12 We issue a CP12 Notice when we correct one or more mistakes on your tax return, and payment becomes an overpayment, or an original overpayment amount has changed.
CP12A We made changes to correct the Earned Income Credit (EIC) claimed on your tax return.
CP12E We made changes to correct a miscalculation on your return.
CP13 We made changes to your return because we believe there’s a miscalculation. You’re not due a refund nor do you owe an additional amount because of our changes. Your account balance is zero.
CP13A We made changes to your return because we found an error involving your Earned Income Credit. You’re not due a refund nor do you owe an additional amount because of our changes. Your account balance is zero.
CP14 We sent you this notice because you owe money on unpaid taxes.
CP14I You owe taxes and penalties because you didn’t take out the minimum amount you had to from your traditional individual retirement arrangement (IRA). Or, you put into a tax-sheltered account more than you can legally.
CP16 We sent you this notice to tell you about changes we made to your return that affect your refund. We made these changes because we believe there was a miscalculation. Our records show you owe other tax debts and we applied all or part of your refund to them.
CP19 We have increased the amount of tax you owe because we believe you incorrectly claimed one or more deductions or credits.
CP20 We believe you incorrectly claimed one or more deductions or credits. As a result, your refund is less than you expected.
CP21A We made the change(s) you requested to your tax return for the tax year specified on the notice. You owe money on your taxes as a result of the change(s).
CP21B We made the change(s) you requested to your tax return for the tax year specified on the notice. You should receive your refund within 2-3 weeks of your notice.
CP21C We made the change(s) you requested to your tax return for the tax year specified on the notice. You’re not due a refund nor do you owe any additional amount. Your account balance for this tax form and tax year is zero.
CP21E As a result of your recent audit, we made changes to your tax return for the tax year specified on the notice. You owe money on your taxes as a result of these changes.
CP21I We made changes to your tax return for the tax year specified on the notice for Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) taxes. You owe money on your taxes as a result of these changes.
CP22A We made the change(s) you requested to your tax return for the tax year specified on the notice. You owe money on your taxes as a result of the change(s).
CP22E As a result of your recent audit, we made changes to your tax return for the tax year specified on the notice. You owe money on your taxes as a result of these changes.
CP22I We made changes to your tax return for the tax year specified on the notice for Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) taxes. You owe money on your taxes as a result of these changes.
CP23 We made changes to your return because we found a difference between the amount of estimated tax payments on your tax return and the amount we posted to your account. You have a balance due because of these changes.
CP24 We made changes to your return because we found a difference between the amount of estimated tax payments on your tax return and the amount we posted to your account. You have a potential overpayment credit because of these changes.
CP24E We made changes to your return because we found a difference between the amount of estimated tax payments on your tax return and the amount we posted to your account. You have a potential overpayment credit because of these changes.
CP25 We made changes to your return because we found a difference between the amount of estimated tax payments on your tax return and the amount we posted to your account. You’re not due a refund nor do you owe an additional amount because of our changes. Your account balance is zero.
CP27 We’ve sent you this notice because our records indicate you may be eligible for the Earned Income Credit (EIC), but didn’t claim it on your tax return.
CP30 We charged you a penalty for not pre-paying enough of your tax either by having taxes withheld from your income, or by making timely estimated tax payments.
CP30A We reduced or removed the penalty for underpayment of estimated tax reported on your tax return.
CP32 We sent you a replacement refund check.
CP32A Call us to request your refund check.
CP39 We used a refund from your spouse or former spouse to pay your past due tax debt. You may still owe money.
CP42 The amount of your refund has changed because we used it to pay your spouse’s past due tax debt.
CP45 We were unable to apply your overpayment to your estimated tax as you requested.
CP49 We sent you this notice to tell you we used all or part of your refund to pay a tax debt.
CP51A We computed the tax on your Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. You owe taxes.
CP51B We computed the tax on your Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. You owe taxes.
CP51C We computed the tax on your Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. You owe taxes.
CP53 We can’t provide your refund through direct deposit, so we’re sending you a refund check by mail.
CP59 We sent you this notice because we have no record that you filed your prior personal tax return or returns.
CP60 We removed a payment erroneously applied to your account.
CP62 We applied a payment to your account.
CP63 We are holding your refund because you have not filed one or more tax returns and we believe you will owe tax.
CP71 You received this notice to remind you of the amount you owe in tax, penalty and interest.
CP71A You received this notice to remind you of the amount you owe in tax, penalty and interest.
CP71C You received this notice to remind you of the amount you owe in tax, penalty and interest.
CP71D You received this notice to remind you of the amount you owe in tax, penalty and interest.
CP88 We are holding your refund because you have not filed one or more tax returns and we believe you will owe tax.
CP90C We levied you for unpaid taxes. You have the right to a Collection Due Process hearing.
CP120 You need to send us documentation of your tax-exempt status.
CP130 Your tax return filing requirements may have changed: You may no longer need to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax.
CP152 We have received your return.
CP153 We can’t provide you with your refund through a direct deposit, so we’re sending you a refund check/credit payment by mail.
CP166 We were unable to process your monthly payment because there were insufficient funds in your bank account.
CP178 Your tax return filing requirements may have changed: You may no longer owe excise tax.
CP180/CP181 We sent you this notice because your tax return is missing a schedule or form.
CP231 Your refund or credit payment was returned to us and we need you to update your current address.
CP259 We’ve sent you this notice because our records indicate you didn’t file the required business tax return identified in the notice.
CP297C We levied you for unpaid taxes. You have the right to a Collection Due Process hearing.
CP501 You have a balance due (money you owe the IRS) on one of your tax accounts.
CP521 This notice is to remind you that you have an installment agreement payment due. Please send your payment immediately.
CP523 This notice informs you of our intent to terminate your installment agreement and seize (levy) your assets. You have defaulted on your agreement.
CP565 We gave you an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
CP566 We need more information to process your application for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). You may have sent us an incomplete form. You may have sent us the wrong documents.
CP2005 We accepted the information you sent us. We’re not going to change your tax return. We’ve closed our review of it.
CP2006 We received your information. We’ll look at it and let you know what we’re going to do.
CP2057 You need to file an amended return. We’ve received information not reported on your tax return.
CP2501 You need to contact us. We’ve received information not reported on your tax return.

Bottom Line of IRS Certified Letters.

Bottom Line of IRS Certified Letters.

If the IRS attempted to mail you letters through certified mail, make sure to receive it.  Open the letter.  Carefully read the letter taking note of your rights, deadlines, and other important information.  After carefully reading the letter, decide how to resolve the issue within a reasonable time.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *