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Understanding your CP51A Notice

We computed the tax on your Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. You owe taxes.


What you need to do

  • Read your notice carefully. It will explain how much you owe and how to pay it.
  • Pay the amount due by the date shown in the notice.
  • Make payment arrangements if you can't pay the full amount you owe.
  • Contact us if you disagree with the amount of tax we computed.

You may want to...


Answers to Common Questions

What if I can't pay what I owe?
You can make a payment plan.

How can I make a payment plan?
Call us at the toll free number on the top right corner of your notice to talk about payment plans or learn more about them.

What should I do if I disagree with the notice?
Call us at the toll free number on the top right corner of your notice. Please have your paperwork (such as cancelled checks, amended return, etc.) ready when you call.

Am I charged interest on the money I owe?
Not if you pay the full amount you owe by the date on the payment coupon. However, interest will be charged if you pay after that date, even if you get a payment plan.

Will I receive a penalty if I can't pay the full amount?
Yes, you'll receive a late payment penalty. You can call us at the number on your notice if you can't pay the full amount because of financial problems. Contact us by your payment's due date. Based on your situation, we may be able to remove the penalty.


Tips for next year

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: 01-Jul-2014

Printable samples of this notice (PDF)

 

Tax publications you may find useful

 

How to get help

  • Call the 1-800 number listed on the top right corner of your notice.
  • Authorize someone (e.g., accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using Form 2848.
  • See if you qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.