We're holding your refund because you have not filed one or more tax returns and we believe you will owe tax.
What you need to do
- File your personal tax return immediately or explain to us:
- why you're filing late
- why you don't have to file, or
- that you've already filed
You may want to
- Review Collection Procedures for Taxpayers Filing and/or Paying Late for what happens when you don't file a return
- Review your records and make sure you filed all your prior returns. Get copies of prior year tax returns and products.
- Check to see that you have enough money withheld from your paycheck to pay your taxes. The IRS withholding calculator can help
- Learn more about your payment options if you owe additional taxes on your return.
- Learn more about payment plans and installment agreements.
- Learn more about Offers in Compromise.
Answers to common questions
What should I do if I disagree with the notice, I didn't file my tax return, or it's been more than eight weeks since I filed it?
Call us at the toll-free number on the top right corner of your notice. Please have your paperwork ready when you call. If you prefer, you can write to us. If you choose to write, please enclose your response in the envelope we've provided.
What should I do if I've just filed my tax return?
You don't have to do anything if you filed your tax return(s) within the last eight weeks.
What happens if I can't pay the full amount I owe when I file my return?
You can make a payment plan with us when you can't pay the full amount you owe. If you owe tax on any return(s) you file, we will use your refund to help pay it.
When will my refund be released?
We can release your refund when we have received all past due returns, or explanations showing you did not have to file for those years.
Tips for next year
File your return on time, even if you will owe taxes. If necessary, you can make a payment plan to pay what you owe.
Filing on time saves you money because it costs the Internal Revenue Service less money to process your return when it's filed on time.
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.
If you have dependent children, you may be able to claim a tax credit for them. Publication 972, Child Tax Credit, has information about this credit.
Tax publications you may find useful
- Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer
- Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax
- Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
- Publication 972, Child Tax Credit
- Form 1040 (Schedule 8812) Child Tax Credit
- Instructions 1040 (Schedule 8812)
- Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List
- Publication 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions and Abandonments
- Full list of tax forms and instructions
How to get help
- Call the 800, 866 or 888 number listed on the top right corner of your notice.
- Authorize someone (such as an accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (PDF)
- See if you qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.