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Understanding your CP501 Notice

You have a balance due (money you owe the IRS) on one of your tax accounts.

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

  • Read your notice carefully — it explains your due date, amount due, and payment options.
  • Make your payment by your due date. Go to the payments page to find out more about your payment options.

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Answers to Common Questions

What should I do if I disagree with the changes you made?
If you disagree, contact us immediately at the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice.

What happens if I can't pay the full amount I owe now?
See if you may be able to set up a payment plan through our Online Payment Agreement Application.

What happens if I don't respond to this notice?
If you don't pay the amount due or call us to make payment arrangements, we can file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien on your property at any time, if we haven't already done so. In addition, if you don't pay the amount you owe by the due date on the notice, interest will increase and additional penalties may apply.

If the lien is in place, you may find it difficult to sell or borrow against your property. The tax lien would also appear on your credit report ― which may harm your credit rating ― and your creditors would also be publicly notified that the IRS has priority to seize your property.

Am I charged interest on the money I owe?
Yes. You will continue to be charged interest on any outstanding balance until the amount is paid in full. See the Penalties section that starts on page 2 of the notice.

Will I receive a penalty if I can't pay the full amount?
Yes, you'll receive a late payment penalty. The failure to pay penalty continues to accrue until the amount you owe is paid in full. Contact us by the due date of your payment and, depending on your situation, we may be able to remove the penalty.

What if I need to make a correction to my tax return?
You'll need to file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 05-Mar-2014