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Understanding your CP31 Notice

Your refund check was returned to us, so you need to update your address.

Printable samples of this notice (PDF)

Tax publications you may find useful

How to get help

Calling the 1-800 number listed on the top right corner of your notice is the fastest way to get your questions answered.

You can also authorize someone (such as an accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using this Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (Form 2848).

Or you may qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
 


What you need to do

Update your address in one of the following ways:

  • Online: Go to Where’s My Refund? to complete your change of address online, you’ll need your Social Security number, filing status, and the amount of your refund.
  • By phone: Call the number listed on your notice.
  • By mail: Complete and mail the Contact information section that came with your notice.

Answers to Common Questions

When will I receive my refund check?
You should receive your refund 3-4 weeks after you submit your correct address. For information about your refund, go to Where’s My Refund? or call the IRS toll free at 1-800-829-1954. You’ll need to provide your Social Security Number (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), your filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.

What do I need to do to get my refund through direct deposit next year?
When filing your tax return, complete the requested banking information in the "Refund" section of your tax form if you want to direct deposit the entire amount into one account. If you want to deposit into more than one account, you must file Form 8888, Direct Deposit of Refund to More Than One Account, with your return.

Since my refund check was returned, can I request that you mail it to my work address instead?
Refund checks are mailed only to the address of record, which is the address provided on the tax return or the result of a permanent address change request submitted after the return is filed.

I filed jointly, but my spouse and I are now divorced. Where will you send the refund? Can you send us two checks?
A refund check is mailed to the address of record, which is the address provided on the tax return or the result of a permanent address change request submitted after the return is filed.
 
The IRS issues one check per return.


Tips for next year

To receive your refund more quickly, consider requesting your refund through direct deposit. You can even request that your refund be distributed to separate accounts, such as checking, savings, or retirement accounts. To request this, use Form 8888, Direct Deposit of Refund to More Than One Account.

Consider filing your taxes electronically. Filing online can help you avoid mistakes and find credits and deductions that you may qualify for. In many cases you can file for free. Learn more about e-file.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 19-Mar-2014