In order to produce the podcast and keep content up free for you, I work with partners so this post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info.
My husband and I filed our taxes last month. We were excited to see that by itemizing our deductions we were going to get a decent sized refund (less than $3,000).
A couple of weeks letter instead of receiving a direct deposit into our bank account, we got a letter from the IRS. It said that they reviewed our filing and that we owed them taxes (approximately $700). Surprised at the big difference we reviewed the letter individually and together to make sure we understood how they came up with that number.
We noticed that they didn't include our estimated tax payments and so we decided to call the next day to go over the return with them on the phone.
IRS Helpline – Actually Helpful
I called around 8am to give myself plenty of time to hunt for papers if necessary. I really wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. After confirming my identity, I spoke with someone and within 10 minutes or so we were able to get to the bottom of the problem. The estimated tax payments were misapplied so I was transfered to another department that could fix that right away. The next person was helpful as well and the only reason I was on hold for a few minutes was so he could go ahead and adjust all the payments in the system while I was on the phone.
I was told it'll take about 3 weeks to process the return and refund (yay!) and I would receive letters in the mail for each of the adjustments.
Types of Notices and Letters Sent by IRS
If you haven't received a letter from the IRS it may seem intimating, but the IRS does have a list of the types of letters they send out to tax payers so you can figure out quickly by simply looking at the top right of the first page for the form letter and number. It's helpful as you pretty much know what paperwork you need ready during your conversation. It sped up the process considerably for us.
|Notice or Letter Number||Title|
|CP 11||Changes to Tax Return, Balance Due|
|CP 11A||Changes to Tax Return and Earned Income Credit, Balance Due|
|CP 12||Changes to Tax Return, Overpayment|
|CP 14||Balance Due|
|CP 21B||Data Processing Adjustment Notice, Overpayment of $1 or more|
|CP 22A||Data Processing Adjustment Notice, Bal Due of $5 or more, Balance Due|
|CP 22E||Examination Adjustment Notice, Balance Due|
|CP 23||Estimated Tax Discrepancy, Balance Due|
|CP 49||Overpaid Tax Applied to Other Taxes You Owe|
|CP 57||Notice of Insufficient Funds|
|CP 88||Delinquent Return Refund Hold|
|CP 90/CP 297||Final Notice – Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing|
|CP 297A||Notice of Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing|
|CP 91/CP 298||Final Notice Before Levy on Social Security Benefits|
|CP 161||Request for Payment or Notice of Unpaid Balance, Balance Due|
|CP 501||Reminder Notice – Balance Due|
|CP 503||Second Request Notice – Balance Due|
|CP 504||Final Notice – Balance Due|
|CP 521||Installment Agreement Reminder Notice|
|CP 523||Notice of Default on Installment Agreement|
|CP 2000||Notice of Proposed Adjustment for Underpayment/Overpayment|
|Letter 0484C||Collection Information Statement Requested (Form 433F/433D); Inability to Pay/Transfer|
|Letter 0549C||Balance Due on Account is Paid|
|Letter 668D(LP 68)||We released the taxpayer’s levy.|
|Letter 0681C||Proposal to Pay Accepted|
|Letter 0757C||Installment Privilege Terminated|
|Letter 1058 (LT 11)||Final Notice prior to levy; your right to a hearing|
|Letter 1615 (LT 18)||Mail us your overdue tax returns.|
|Letter 1731 (LP 64)||Please help us locate a taxpayer.|
|Letter 1737 (LT 27)||Please complete and site Form 433F, Collection Information Statement.|
|Letter 1961C||Installment Agreement for Direct Debit 433-G|
|Letter 1962C||Installment Agreement Reply to Taxpayer|
|Letter 2050 (LT 16)||Please call us about your overdue taxes or tax return.|
|Letter 2257C||Balance Due Total to Taxpayer|
|Letter 2271C||Installment Agreement for Direct Debit Revisions|
|Letter 2272C||Installment Agreement Cannot be Considered|
|Letter 2273C||Installment Agreement Accepted: Terms Explained|
|Letter 2318C||Installment Agreement: Payroll Deduction (F2159) Incomplete|
|Letter 2357C||Abatement of Penalties and Interest|
|Letter 2603C||Installment Agreement Accepted – Notice of Federal Tax Lien Will be Filed|
|Letter 2604C||Pre-assessed Installment Agreement|
|Letter 2761C||Request for Combat Zone Service Dates|
|Letter 2789C||Taxpayer Response to Reminder of Balance Due|
|Letter 2822C||VRU Acceptance of Proposal to Pay (30,60,90, 120 days)|
|Letter 2823C||VRU Monthly Payment Plan Confirmation|
|Letter 2840C||CC IAPND Installment Agreement Confirmation|
|Letter 3030C||Balance Due Explained:Tax/Interest Not Paid|
|Letter 3127C||Revision to Installment Agreement|
|Letter 3217C||Installment Agreement Accepted: Terms Explained|
|Letter 3228 (LT 39)||Reminder notice.|
|Letter 4903 (LT 26)||We have no record of receiving your tax returns.|
|Letter LP 47||Address Information Request|
|Letter LP 59||Please contact us about the taxpayer levy.|
Your Tax Returns
If you haven’t received your tax return or you’re curious, just go to the IRS’ site and enter your information. You may also receive a letter from them, but in many cases, it's simply a request for more information or calculation you can work out with them.
How about you? Have you ever received a letter from the IRS? What was it for? Were you able to get it corrected easily or did it take some work? How did the process work out for you?
Photo Credit: David Reber’s Hammer Photography