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Understanding your CP23 Notice

We made changes to your return because we found a difference between the amount of estimated tax payments on your tax return and the amount we posted to your account. You have a balance due because of these changes. The notice may also cover other changes we made while processing your return.


What you need to do

  • Read your notice carefully — it will explain how much money you owe on your taxes.
    • Compare the payments on the notice to your records:
      • Verify all your estimated tax payments are listed.
      • Check the amount applied (if any) from the prior year.
  • If you agree with the changes we made,
    • Pay the amount owed by the date on the notice.
    • You may do this on line using www.irs.gov, and select the Payments tab from the menu.
    • Establish a Payment Plan or Installment Agreement if you can't pay the full amount you owe.
    • You may do this on line using the Online Payment Agreement tool, or contact us at the telephone number provided on the notice.
    • Correct your tax return copy that you kept for your records, but don’t send it to us.
  • If you don’t agree, contact us within 60 days from the date of your notice and see “Answers to Common Questions” below.
    • By telephone: Call us at the toll-free number shown on your notice. The fastest way to resolve many errors is by telephone. Some cases require additional information that you may provide verbally. If we need a copy of a cancelled check or other documentation, you may fax it to us while on the telephone. Either way we may be able to correct your account immediately.
    • By mail: Please include a copy of the notice along with your correspondence or documentation, and allow 30-60 or more days for a resolution.

Answers to Common Questions

I don’t pay estimated taxes. Why did I get this notice?
The most common cause is an incorrect entry on the estimated tax line of the tax return. If this happened, please phone us at the number on your notice.

What should I do if I find you misapplied a payment or haven't credited a payment that I made?
Contact us with your information at the toll-free number listed on your notice. Please have your tax return and documentation (such as cancelled checks, amended return, etc.) ready when you call. Our representative will discuss the issue with you and give you further instructions.

What is an estimated tax penalty?
An estimated tax penalty may be assessed if you didn’t pay enough tax throughout the year, either through withholding or by making estimated tax payments. See our Estimated Taxes page, or Tax Topic 306 - Penalty for Underpayment of Estimated Tax.

How do I adjust my estimated tax payments?
You can adjust your estimated tax payments by completing a Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax for more information.

Do I receive a penalty if I cannot pay the full amount?
Yes. You usually will receive a late payment penalty. If we adjust your account (such as fixing a misapplied payment), the late payment penalty and interest will adjust automatically. For additional help, see Penalty Relief.

Do I have to pay interest on the amount I owe?
To avoid interest charges, full pay the amount owed by the due date stated on the payment coupon. The IRS doesn’t abate interest for reasonable cause or first-time relief. Interest is charged by law and will continue until your account is fully paid. However if we reduce your tax or penalty, the related interest will automatically reduce.


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.

To help avoid the same issue next year, correct the copy of this year’s tax return that you kept for your records. If you use a tax preparer, also have them correct their copy.

Before filing, you can verify the estimated tax payments applied to the year by using the Get Transcript application.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-Oct-2016