Understanding your CP2501 notice


What this notice is about

The income or payment information reported to IRS doesn't match the information you reported on your tax return. This discrepancy may cause an increase or decrease in your tax or may not change it at all.

What you need to do

  • Read your notice carefully: Follow the instructions on your notice. It explains the information we received, how to respond, and what will happen if you don’t respond.
  • Respond to the notice. Complete and return the response form and state whether you agree or disagree with the notice. You can submit your response by:
    • Mail using the return address on the enclosed envelope, or
    • Fax your documents to the fax number in the notice using either a fax machine or an online fax service. Protect yourself when sending digital data by understanding the fax service’s privacy and security policies.
  • If you agree with the information, follow the instructions to sign the response form. We require both spouses’ signatures if you filed married filing jointly.
  • If you disagree or the information reported to us is incorrect:
    • Complete and return the response form. Provide a signed statement explaining why you disagree and supply any documentation, such as a corrected W-2, 1099 or missing forms, to support your statement.
    • Contact the business or person who reported the information. Ask them for a corrected income document or a statement to support the reason it is incorrect, then send us a copy with your response.
    • If the income in question was later deemed nontaxable due to a state relief payment, financial assistance allocated under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Acts, or similar language, provide a signed statement with the response form.
  • Respond by the due date shown in the notice. If you don’t, we’ll continue processing our case and send you a CP2000 Notice for the proposed amount due.

You may want to

  • Order a transcript of your tax return, if needed.
  • Make sure your other tax returns don't have the same mistake. If they do, file Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax ReturnPDF, to correct the mistakes.
  • Contact us with any unanswered questions you have or if you need time to respond to the notice. If you contact us by phone, keep in mind call volumes may be high and it might take some time to get through.
  • Keep a copy of the notice for your records.
  • Review Publication 5181, Tax Return Reviews by Mail CP2000, Letter 2030, CP2501, Letter 2531.
  • Visit our website to learn more about payment options if you owe additional taxes.
  • Learn more about payment plans and installment agreements if you cannot pay the full amount of taxes you may owe.
  • Complete section 2 (authorization) on the response form if you want to allow someone, in addition to yourself, to contact us about this notice. Or, send us a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of RepresentativePDF, to allow someone (such as your tax return preparer) to contact us on your behalf.

Frequently asked questions

We received information from a third party, such as employers or financial institutions, which doesn't match the information you reported on your tax return.

No. The notice is a proposal and informs you of a discrepancy between the information we received, and the information reported on your return. If the discrepancy remains unresolved, or we don’t receive a response to the notice, you may receive a subsequent notice and a bill at a later date.

You can complete and send Form 14039, Identity Theft AffidavitPDF, to us along with the completed response form. You can also go to our identity theft central webpage to find out more about what you can do.

You don't need to file an amended tax return. However, if the information in the notice is correct, or if you have additional income, credits or expenses to report, you may want to submit a completed Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax ReturnPDF, and return it with a completed response form. If you choose to file an amended return, write "CP2501" on top of your return and attach it behind your completed response form. Mail or fax the information to the address or fax number shown on the notice.

You can request help at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

Our computer systems match the information you report on your tax return with information reported to IRS by third parties, such as financial institutions, employers, and other businesses. Due to the complexity of the matching process, it can take months to complete.

Yes, you can call us. Call volumes may be high, and it might take some time to reach a representative. We can generally accept your information over the phone for incorrectly reported information. If the information you provide over the phone isn't enough to resolve all the issues, you should mail or fax a signed statement explaining your disagreement and include any documentation that supports your position.

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers are located throughout the country. Our website can help you find the center nearest to you.

Tips for next year

You can avoid future problems by:

  • Keeping accurate and full records.
  • Waiting until you get all your income statements to file your tax return.
  • Checking the documents you receive from your employer, mortgage company, bank, or other sources of income (Forms W-2s, 1098s, 1099s, etc.) to make sure they're correct.
  • Including all your income on your tax return.
  • Following the instructions on how to report income, expenses, and deductions.
  • Filing an amended tax return for any information you receive after you've filed your return.

Consider filing your taxes electronically. Filing online can help you avoid mistakes and find credits and deductions you may qualify for. In many cases you can file for free. Learn more about how to file electronically.

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