Understanding Your CP88 Notice


What this notice is about

We're holding your refund because you haven't 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

Frequently asked questions

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 using the notice's Response form. Please enclose it in the envelope we've provided.

You don't have to do anything if you filed your tax return(s) within the last eight weeks.

Complete the Response form from your notice. Check the name, Social Security number or employer identification number, and tax year on your notice. Make sure they match the name, number, and year on the return. Send us the Response form, and include a signed and dated copy of the 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.

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.

Helpful information

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.

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 tax credits for them. Publication 972, Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other DependentsPDF, has information about these credits.

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