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IRS explains CP 2000 letters sent to taxpayers when tax return information doesn’t match information from 3rd parties

FS-2018-11, May 2018

When a tax return’s information doesn’t match data reported to the Internal Revenue Service by employers, banks and other third parties, the IRS will send a letter to the taxpayer. The letter is called an IRS Notice CP 2000, and it gives detailed information about issues the IRS identified and provides steps taxpayers should take to resolve those issues.

The IRS reminds taxpayers this letter isn’t a formal audit notification but a letter to see if the taxpayer agrees or disagrees with the proposed tax changes. Taxpayers should respond to the CP2000 letter, usually within 30 days from the date printed on the letter.

The IRS provides a phone number on each letter. IRS telephone assistors can explain the letter and what taxpayers need to do to resolve any discrepancies.

The IRS will send another letter to the taxpayer if the taxpayer doesn’t respond to the initial notice or if the IRS can’t accept the additional information provided. That follow-up letter is called an IRS Notice CP3219A, Statutory Notice of Deficiency. This letter gives detailed information about why the IRS proposes a tax change and how the agency determined the change. The letter tells taxpayers about their right to challenge the decision in Tax Court if they choose to do so. Even if they decide not to go to Tax Court, the IRS will continue to work with the taxpayer during the statutory notice timeframe to help resolve the issue.

Watch out for tax scams

The IRS reminds taxpayers to be on the lookout for tax scams, which can occur through email, on the phone or through the mail. If taxpayers are uncertain about the validity of a CP2000 notice, their options for getting more information include visiting Understanding Your CP2000 Notice on IRS.gov or viewing IRS YouTube videos.

YouTube videos help explain the letters

The IRS released two YouTube videos to help taxpayers understand what happens when the IRS proposes changes to a tax return. The videos explain the IRS Letters CP2000 and CP3219A and what to do with them. The videos also refer to additional resources at IRS.gov.

The IRS Letter CP2000: Proposed Changes to Your Tax Return video tells taxpayers why they received this letter from the IRS and how to respond if they agree – or disagree – with the proposed changes.

The IRS Letter CP3219A: Statutory Notice of Deficiency video provides information about a proposed increase in tax and how the IRS figured this on the tax return. It also gives information about the taxpayer’s right to challenge the decision, if they choose to do so.

The two new videos are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language on the IRS YouTube page. The IRS YouTube channel offers many more topics of interest to taxpayers, including what to do if they think they may be a victim of identity theft as well as understanding their IRS bill.

The IRS also embraces taxpayer rights. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is available on IRS.gov.

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