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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

TAS Tax Tip: The IRS incorrectly recorded me as deceased – what should I do?

What if the IRS incorrectly records you as deceased

If your IRS tax account is locked in error because the IRS’s records incorrectly indicate that you or your spouse are deceased, the instructions below can help you resolve the issue. When your account is locked, it prevents the IRS from processing your tax return until the issue is resolved.

Accounts may mistakenly show a living taxpayer as deceased due to one or more of the following circumstances:

  • Inaccurate information from the Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • IRS processing errors
  • Taxpayer tax return entry errors

The IRS issues notice CP01H, Tax Return submitted with Locked Social Security Number (SSN), when they receive a tax return that contains an SSN for an account that was locked because the IRS’s records indicate the SSN belongs to an individual who died prior to the tax year of the return submitted for processing.

If you receive this notice in error, follow these steps:

  • Verify you entered your SSNs correctly on your tax return.
  • Contact SSA to have them correct their records.
  • Once SSA corrects the information, send the documentation shown to the address of the IRS campus where you filed your tax return:
    1. A copy of the CP01H notice you received
    2. A written request to unlock the account
    3. A photocopy of at least one of the following:
      • Passport
      • Driver’s license
      • Social security card
      • Other valid U.S. federal or state government issued identification
    4. A copy of your tax return but re-sign it, so it has original signatures. (The IRS can’t process a tax return without original signatures.)

If you still find that you cannot fix the issue after following the above steps, go to the Can TAS help me with my tax issue? tool to see if the Taxpayer Advocate Service can assist you.