Understanding Your CP501 Notice

What this notice is about

You received this notice because you have a balance due (money you owe the IRS) on one of your tax accounts.


What you need to do

  • Read your notice carefully. It explains how much you owe, when your payment is due, and your payment options.
  • Pay the amount you owe by the due date shown on the notice.
  • Make a payment plan if you can't pay the full amount you owe.
  • Contact us if you disagree by calling the toll-free number shown on your notice.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the notice telling me?

This notice is a reminder that you owe a balance on one of your tax accounts. You received this notice because we haven't received your payment or a response to the previous notice requesting you pay this balance.

What do I have to do?

Pay the amount you owe by the due date shown on the notice. You can quickly and easily pay your balance online or mail us your payment in the envelope we sent you. Please include the bottom part of the notice to make sure we correctly credit your account.

If you can't pay the whole amount now, you may qualify for a payment plan (including installment agreements) by applying online through our Online Payment Agreement Application. You can also mail us an Installment Agreement Request.

What should I do if I disagree with the changes you made?

If you disagree with the changes, call us immediately at the toll-free number shown on your notice. Please have your paperwork (such as cancelled checks, amended return, etc.) ready when you call.

What happens if I don't pay or respond to this notice?

If you don't pay the amount due, make payment arrangements, or contact us at the toll-free number on your notice, we can file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. A lien is a public notice to your creditors that the government has a right to your interests in your current assets and any assets you acquire after we file the lien; it can affect your ability to get credit.

In addition, interest will accrue on the unpaid amount and additional penalties may apply.

Am I charged interest on the money I owe?

Yes. We charge interest on Underpayments and Overpayments on any outstanding balance until the amount is paid in full. See the "Your Bill Summary" section on your notice for the total interest charged.

Will I receive a penalty if I can't pay the full amount?

Yes, you'll receive a late payment penalty. You can call us at the toll-free number on your notice if you can't pay the full amount or you can apply online for a payment plan (including installment agreements). Contact us by your payment's due date, and depending on your situation, we may be able to remove the penalty.

What if I need to make a correction to my tax return?

You'll need to file Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return PDF.

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