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Understanding Your CP05B Notice

We issue a CP05B notice when the IRS receives a tax return that shows a refund amount and we can’t determine if the income reported on the tax return matches the income reported to us by payers. The IRS is holding your refund until we receive the additional information we requested from you to determine if the income is correct before we can release your refund.


What you need to do

  • Read your notice carefully -- it explains the information you must send to us.
  • Provide copies of the requested documentation to verify the items that we're auditing.
  • Tear off the voucher on the last page of this notice and attach it to the documents you're submitting.
  • Send the requested information within 30 days from the date of this notice to the address shown on the notice.

You may want to

  • Review this notice with your tax preparer.
  • Contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) if you’re experiencing economic harm. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that can help protect your taxpayer rights. TAS can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a hardship, or you've tried but haven't been able to resolve your problem with the IRS. If you qualify for TAS assistance, which is always free, TAS will do everything possible to help you. Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Answers to Common Questions

Why is my return being reviewed?
While we accept most tax returns as filed, we select some for examination. The IRS examines some federal tax returns to determine if income, expenses, and credits are reported accurately. The IRS selects returns for examination using various methods; including random sampling, computerized screening, and comparison of information received by the IRS such as Forms W-2 and 1099. Having your return selected for examination does not suggest that you made an error or were dishonest.

What if I did not file a tax return claiming the items you are questioning and someone else is using my name and social security number?
Send us a completed and signed Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. You can download this form online at www.irs.gov. You can also refer to the IRS Identity Theft resource page for more information.


Tips for next year

  • Review all of your income and withholding documents for completeness and review your return to make sure you are eligible to claim all income, credits and business income that you reported
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 10-Mar-2016

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