Understanding Your CP81 Notice

We have not received your tax return for a specific tax year and the statute of limitations to claim a refund of your credit or payment for that tax year is about to expire.

What you need to do

  • If you are required to file this tax return, file immediately. We will apply the credit amount shown on this notice to the tax you owe and refund any overpayment to you, if you do not owe other taxes or obligations.
  • If you have already filed this return and it has been over 8 weeks, send us a newly signed copy of your tax return. Make sure you attach copies of all schedules and other documents you included with your previously filed original tax return.
  • If you want the credit transferred to another tax form, tax period or tax identification number, call us at 800-829-0115.
  • If you do not file your tax return or contact us, you will lose this credit. The Internal Revenue Code sets strict time limits for refunding or transferring credits.

You may want to

  • Call 800-829-3676 (800-TAX-FORM) to order forms and publications or visit our website, www.irs.gov, to download them.

  • Answers to common questions

    How long do I have to file a tax return to claim a refund?
    Generally, you must file a tax return within 3 years from the due date of the return (including extensions) to receive a refund of any overpayment on your account. After this statute of limitations expires, we cannot refund any overpayments.

    Where do I send my return?
    Send it to the address listed on the notice.

    What should I do if I just filed my tax return?
    You do not have to do anything if you filed your tax return within the last 8 weeks.

    Tips for next year

    File all required returns by the appropriate due date.

Printable samples of this notice (PDF)

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.