Understanding your CP21A Notice
We made the change(s) you requested to your tax return for the tax year specified on the notice. You owe money on your taxes as a result of the change(s).
Printable samples of this notice (pdf)
Tax publications you may find useful
How to get help
Calling the toll free 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 will explain why you owe money on your taxes.
- Pay the amount owed by the date on the notice's payment coupon.
- Make payment arrangements if you can't pay the full amount you owe.
- Contact us if you disagree with the change(s) we made.
- Correct the copy of your tax return that you kept for your records.
You may want to...
- Download additional information pertaining to your change.
- Some other materials you may be interested in include:
- Call 1-800-829-FORM to have forms and publications mailed to you.
- Learn more about your payment options and how to make a payment arrangement.
- Complete and send us a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative to authorize someone (such as an accountant) to contact us on your behalf.
Answers to Common Questions
The notice says "Based on the information you provided, we changed your 20XX Form 1040 to correct your:..." but I don't remember sending any change to IRS. How can I find out what IRS received to initiate this change?
Please contact us at the number listed on the top right corner of your notice for specific information about your tax return.
What do I say when I call the IRS?
Mention that you received a CP21A notice with a balance due and you need to review your account with a customer service representative. Be sure to have a copy of your notice and your tax return before you call.
What should I do if I disagree with the changes you made?
If you disagree, contact us 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?
You can arrange to make a payment plan with us if you can't pay the full amount you owe.
Am I charged interest on the money I owe?
If you don't full pay the amount you owe by the date on the payment coupon, interest will accrue on the unpaid balance after that date.
Will I receive a penalty if I can't pay the full amount?
Yes, you'll receive a late payment penalty. You can contact us at the number listed on your notice if you’re unable to pay the full amount shown in your specific notice because of circumstances beyond your control. Contact us by the due date of your payment and, depending on your situation, we may be able to remove the penalty.
Can I set up a payment plan?
Yes. Call the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice to discuss payment options or check out more information on payment options and how to make a payment arrangement.
There are other options, such as paying by credit card. Note: There may be a fee to pay by credit card.
What if I need to make another correction to my account?
You'll need to file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
What if I have tried to get answers and after contacting IRS several times have not been successful?
Call Taxpayer Advocate at 1-877-777-4778 or for TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059.
What if I think I’m a victim of identity theft?
Please contact us at the number listed on the top right corner of your notice. Refer to the IRS Identity Theft resource page for more information.
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.