Understanding Your Letter 2531


What this letter is about

Information reported on your tax return doesn't match information reported to us from third parties.

What you need to do

  • Read your letter carefully. It explains the information we received.
  • Complete and return the response Form 15114, Request Verification for Potential Discrepancy of Income, Deductions, and/or Credits Claimed on BMF Income Tax Returns Matched to Payer Information Documents, to indicate if you agree or disagree with the information reported.
  • If you didn't report the income on your tax return, you don't need to file an amended return to report it. Check the box indicating you agree with the information reported by others, sign and date the response Form 15114 and return it in the envelope enclosed with your letter.
  • If you don't agree with the information we sent you, check the box indicating you do not agree with some or all of the information on the response Form 15114 and return it with a signed statement explaining each item of discrepancy. If applicable, attach copies of documents to support the entries on the original return.

You may want to

  • Send us the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the other party that received the income if it isn't yours.
  • Notify the payers to correct their records to show the name and taxpayer identification number of the person or business who actually received the income, so future reports to us are accurate. Contact us with any unanswered questions you have.
  • Contact us if you have questions.

Frequently asked questions

Is this a bill?

No. We're asking you to verify the income reported on your tax return because it's different from the information we received from other sources.

Why did it take you so long to contact me about this matter?

Tax years generally end on Dec. 31, but we don't receive information from banks, businesses, and other payers until much later. Once we receive all the tax returns and payer information, we compare the information you reported with the information the third-party payers provided to us. It can take 8 months or more to complete the review.

Should I call with my response or mail it in?

If you have a simple response, such as directing us to a specific line on your original return where you reported the income, you can call the toll-free number on the letter and provide the information. We may require a written response if the issue is more involved, especially if you disagree with some of the proposed changes. You may want to mail copies of payer information documents, such as Forms 1099 or Schedules K-1. Include any other letters or documents that support your position. You should submit a written statement to explain any unusual tax situations.

I need more time to find my records and go through them all. Will you allow me additional time to respond?

If you don't respond by the date shown on the letter, we'll continue processing the case using the additional information. If you need more time to research your records, you can call us at the number on your letter to request a 30-day extension. We may also provide additional time to respond if you have unusual circumstances.

What should I do to avoid problems like this in the future?

  • Keep accurate payment information from banks and other payers to verify you received all payment information for filing your return. Review the documents to be sure they show your most current address.
  • Report specific income types on the correct lines on Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax ReturnPDF, or Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and TrustsPDF. For more information, see the reporting instructions for the form you are required to file.
  • If you report income on a line not traditionally reserved for that type of income, provide a statement explaining where you reported the income.
  • Always attach a statement identifying the source of the amount reported on Form 1120, line 10, or Form 1041, line 8 (Other Income).
  • Attach a statement explaining your percentage of gross proceeds that you would be liable to claim on your tax return.
  • Generally, if you receive a Form 1099 for amounts that actually belong to another person, you are a nominee recipient. You must file a Form 1099 with the IRS (the same type of Form 1099 you received) for each of the other owners showing the amounts applicable to each.

Helpful information

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