Understanding your CP05A notice

What this notice is about

We need more information to support your income and federal tax withholding before we can send a refund.


What you need to do

  • Send your response within 45 days from the date of the notice. For the fastest case resolution, reply using the Documentation Upload Tool (DUT). To reply using the tool:
    • Gather your supporting documentation.
    • Scan or take a photo of the supporting documentation and your letter.
    • Complete the tool’s upload form and submit your response.

Reply to IRS

You can also reply by: 

  • Faxing your documentation 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, or
  • Mailing your response to the address shown on the notice.

Your supporting documentation must include:

  • The date you earned the wages
  • The gross income you received
  • The federal tax withheld for the year shown on the notice

Acceptable documentation includes:

  • Copies of at least 3 pay statements or check stubs, including the end of the year statement/check stub. (Don’t send a copy of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.)
  • A letter on company letterhead from your employer, including your employer’s name, address, telephone and fax number. 
  • A statement of benefits on retirement income

Your reply must include a copy of this notice.


You may want to

  • Review this notice with your tax preparer.
  • Consider an IRS Identity Protection PIN to help prevent misuse of your taxpayer identification number on fraudulent federal income tax returns.
  • Contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) if you are experiencing an economic hardship or need help in resolving problems. You can reach TAS at 877-777-4778 or TTY/TTD 800-829-4059.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my return being reviewed? (updated November 30, 2023)

We select some returns to determine if income, expenses, and credits are being reported accurately. This doesn’t mean you made an error or were dishonest. Please allow us 60 days from the date you provided your supporting documentation to complete our review before contacting us.

What if I didn’t file the tax return? (updated November 30, 2023)

Someone else may have filed it for you without your consent. Send us a completed and signed Form 14039, Identity Theft AffidavitPDF. You may want to read our identity theft resource page for more information.


Helpful information


Tips for next year

Review all of your income and withholding documents for completeness and review your return to make sure you are eligible to claim all income, credits and business income you reported.

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