IRS Letters and Notices

IRS Letters and Notices

Did you receive an IRS letter or notice? Don’t panic too much about the letter, most of these letters come off in a harsh tone but can be resolved through a few steps. Below are some normal IRS letters that the IRS sends. Each notification contains a description of what the letter is for and what are the appropriate actions to take in order to respond and resolve the problem the letter is addressing. Although the IRS is systematic, sometimes notices can be skipped if you have had problems in the past and for other reasons.

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IRS CP11: Changes to Tax Return

The IRS CP11 is a notice issued when the IRS has adjusted the taxpayers tax return as a result of a miscalculation on the filers part. As a result of the adjustment a balance is owed by the taxpayer.

The CP11 provides an explanation of the changes that were made to the taxpayers return with a specific description of the areas in the return where the miscalculations were found.


The IRS CP22A is a notice issued when the IRS has updated the taxpayers return as a result of a correction the filer has made to their return or amended return.

As a result of the taxpayer’s correction(s) and or amended return the IRS has updated the return. The update to the return by the IRS results in an amount due by the taxpayer.


The IRS CP22E is a notice from the IRS acknowledging the IRS has audited your tax return. As a result of the audit, a balance is owed by you which is indicated on the notice. The notice deadline is indicated on the form.

If you disagree with the results of the audit and the changes made to your tax return you should call the IRS with the letter and have your account information readily available to you.


The IRS CP23 is a notice from the IRS which most likely indicates they have rectified the amount of estimated tax payments you indicated were made on your tax return and the amount they have posted to your account. It can also reflect other changes made to your return while it was processed.
The CP23 will indicate a balance due as a result of the IRS amending your return.

As a result of the IRS reconciling the taxpayers actual estimated payments with those their records reflect and or any other changes they have made, you will have a balance due.


You may have received a notice from the IRS called “CP75.” This notice is a request for supporting documentation to verify that you are eligible for credits or income that you claimed on your tax return. The CP75 notice will list the specific documents that the IRS needs in order to process your claim. You can mail or fax your supporting documents to the address or number listed on the notice. Once the IRS receives your documentation, they will process your claim. Read our detailed guide on addressing an IRS CP75 notice.


The IRS CP88 is a notice from the IRS indicating that they are not going to be issuing the taxpayer a refund claimed due because their records indicate you have one or more years of unfiled returns with them.


The IRS CP90 is a serious notice which makes it imperative you respond to it immediately. This notice is sent after the IRS has sent you multiple other notices seeking payment for your back taxes. The CP90 notifies you of the IRS intent to levy certain assets. These assets can include but are not limited to your social security benefits, wages and bank account.

IRS CP91 / CP298

The IRS CP91 and CP298 notice is a serious notice which makes it imperative you take action immediately.  This notice is sent after the IRS has sent you multiple other notices to pay this assessment.  The CP91/298 notifies you of the IRS intent to levy up to 15% of your social security benefits to pay the tax owed.


The IRS CP161 is a notice sent to businesses informing you of a balance due. This notice is often misinterpreted as a math error notice. This is not the case. It shows the tax that was reported on your return, the payment that you made, accrued penalties, accrued interest and the amount due.


IRS cp162 is a form that is used to inform taxpayers of penalties that have been assessed against them. The form includes the taxpayer’s name, address, and social security number, as well as the amount of the penalty and the reason for it. Penalties can be assessed for partnership, S-corp, and Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (REMIC) returns that were late, incomplete, or not filed electronically. CP162 forms are typically sent by certified mail, and taxpayers have 30 days to appeal the penalty. If you have received an IRS cp162 form, it is important to take action as soon as possible to avoid further penalties. For more information on the CP 162 read the details.


The IRS CP297 is sent to a business and it’s a final notice to inform you that the IRS intends to levy or seize your property.  It’s most commonly sent regarding unpaid business taxes.  You have received this notice after multiple other notices have been sent and not responded to.  This is a final notice giving you 30 days to pay the balance due or the IRS can levy or seize your business assets, bank account, income and other assets.

IRS CP297a

The IRS CP297A is a letter sent notifying of the IRS intent to levy certain assets.  The CP297A is more consequential than the CP297 because it says a levy has been issued on federal contractor payments due you, employee travel costs, federal reimbursements and retirement funds.


The CP14 informs you that you owe the IRS money as a result of an underpayment or non-payment of your taxes.  The amount due will be indicated on the return.  This notice is frequently associated with missed estimated tax penalties and generally is the first notice from the IRS.


The IRS CP501 sometimes referred to as the first notice, is sent to inform you that you have a balance due.  In most cases you receive this because you didn’t respond to the CP14 notice.  If you owe the IRS amount due in this notice you have begun to incur penalties and interest on that balance.  It’s not an urgent notice, however, if ignored will lead to other notices and possible levies or tax liens filed against you. 


The IRS CP503 is generally a third notice sent via certified mail after two previous notices have been sent and not responded to. It informs you of a tax balance due. The top right-hand portion of the notice will document the tax year you owe for and the tax balance due. You generally have 10 days to respond to this notice


The CP504 sometimes referred to as Final Notice, is a serious notice that you don’t want to ignore.  It’s a final notice of the IRS intent to levy taxpayers who have an unpaid balance with the IRS.  The CP504B is basically the same notice sent to business instead of individual taxpayer.  It will detail the penalties and interest your account has accrued since the last notice received.  If you don’t pay the amount due, you generally have 30 days before the IRS can levy your income and bank accounts, social security benefits, seize your state income tax refund, personal assets (car and home not excluded) and if a business file a federal contractors levy.  Lastly, the IRS can also file a notice of federal tax lien which notifies your creditors or potential creditors that the IRS has rights to your existing assets and any you may acquire after the lien is filed.  The federal tax lien can have an adverse impact on your ability to get credit to the extent its public for creditors to see. 

LT 1058

The IRS has likely made numerous attempts to collect by the time the taxpayer receives this notice. If no action is taken within 30 days, the IRS has the right to levy or seize assets. Read the details for the LT 1058.

LT 11

The IRS hasn’t received any payment for overdue taxes and they intend to seize assets if no action is taken. The IRS may also place a lien on your property. Read our guide on LT11.


The IRS sends the CP523 notice when you have defaulted on your existing installment agreement, and they plan to terminate it. When you receive the CP523, there is still time to take action and get back into compliance. To understand more of what this means and actions you may want to take, read our guide on CP523 notice.

IRS CP2000

The IRS will send CP2000 when it has made proposed changes to your tax return. This happens when the information reported on your tax return doesn’t match with the information the agency received from other entities. This is not a bill, it is shown as a proposed amount due based on the difference. Read our guide on how to respond to an IRS CP2000 notice.

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