Understanding Your CP04 Notice


What this notice is about

We show that you or your spouse served in a combat zone, a qualified contingency operation, or a hazardous duty station during the tax year specified on your notice. As a result, you may be eligible for tax deferment.

What you need to do

  • Read your notice carefully. It will explain why we’re asking you to send us information about your service.
  • Complete section 1 of the Response Form we included, and mail or fax it to us by the date shown on the notice. Be sure to include the required supporting documentation.

Frequently asked questions

What deferments are available to those who serve in a combat zone?

The deadline for filing tax returns, paying taxes, filing claims for refund, and taking other actions with the IRS can be extended 180 days following your departure from a combat zone, contingency operation or hazardous duty station, if you served with the Armed Forces or were a civilian working in support of the Armed Forces.

If you are in the military or naval services on an assigned tour of duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico, serving in a combat zone, contingency operation or hazardous duty station for a period that includes the entire due date of the return, you can receive an automatic extension. Civilians working in these areas in support of the armed forces can qualify also if they provide a copy of their Letter of Authorization.

In addition to the 180 days, your deadline is extended by the number of days that were left for you to take the action with the IRS when you entered a combat zone (or began performing qualifying service outside the combat zone) or began serving in a contingency operation. For example, you had 3½ months (January 1 - April 15, 2010) to file your 2009 tax return. Any days of this 3½ month period that were left when you entered the combat zone (or the entire 3½ months if you entered the combat zone by January 1, 2010) are added to the 180 days when determining the last day allowed for filing your 2009 tax return.

If it's an automatic extension, why do I need to provide the requested information?

We need to update our records and verify that you are eligible to receive the automatic extension. We need the dates that you served or worked in a qualified area so that your account can be updated.

What if I don't respond to the notice?

If we don't receive your completed Response Form by the due date shown on your notice, you may be subject to collection action for any taxes, interest, or penalties that you owe.

Need Help?

  • You can authorize someone to contact the IRS on your behalf.
  • See if you qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
  • If you can’t find what you need online, you can call the IRS at the 800, 866, or 888 number listed on the notice.