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Published:   |   Last Updated: June 17, 2024

What to do if you receive an IRS balance due notice for taxes you have already paid

 

Envelope with bill inside

The IRS issues various balance due notices, including Notice CP14, Notice of Tax Due and Demand for Payment. This information will help you if you receive a CP14 from the IRS despite having already paid your taxes in full. 

The CP14 is a balance due notice telling you that you owe money for unpaid taxes. The notice requests that a payment be made within 21 days. If the balance due is not fully paid within 60 days, the IRS can proceed with collection activity. 

The first thing to know is don’t panic! Taxpayers typically don’t want to hear from the IRS. Sometimes they don’t even want to open the mail from the IRS and don’t want to see a bill for federal income taxes they already paid. Because of a correspondence backlog at the IRS, many payments have not yet been processed. Until that is done, those taxpayers’ accounts reflect balances due even though the taxes have been paid. 

What should I do if I receive a CP14 notice by mistake? 

  • Don’t ignore it. Open it, read it, and keep it in a safe place. 
  • Verify your taxes were paid. If you have documentation that you have paid the right amount of tax, don’t pay it again. 
  • Your payment may not have been processed yet, so we recommend that you create an online account to monitor the account for your payment to be applied. 
  • Respond to the IRS. You have 60 days from the date of the CP14 notice to respond, so if the payment isn’t applied to your account AT LEAST TEN DAYS PRIOR to the 60-day deadline, have your information ready and either call the number on your notice or submit your information by mail to make sure you are compliant with the terms of the notice. 

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Sign in to your Online Account to:

  • Make payments
  • Go paperless for certain notices
  • Get email notifications for new notices

What should I do if I made a mistake and the CP14 notice is correct? 

It’s in your best interest to pay your tax debt as soon as possible to limit the penalties and interest the IRS may charge. 

However, if you can’t pay the full amount by the date on the notice, there are several payment options that might work for your situation. Depending on the type and amount of tax you owe, different options are available, ranging from short term extensions, to installment agreements, to an offer in compromise. Each has different requirements and may have a fee. 

You must reply by the date required in the notice or you may lose certain appeal rights. 

Where to reply 

The notice tells you where to call and where to send your payment or response if the notice is incorrect. Follow the instructions. 

What if I want to talk with someone? 

Each notice or letter from the IRS should include contact information. The telephone number is usually found in the upper right-hand corner. If a specific employee is working your case, it will show a specific phone number for that employee or the department manager. Otherwise, it will show the IRS toll-free number (800-829-1040). 

Note: Live phone support often has long wait times or you may have to call more than once. Responses to correspondence may also have long delays. The IRS has expanded voice bot options for faster services that includes assistance for eligible taxpayers in setting up or modifying payment plans. 

The best days to call the IRS are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The IRS advises that wait times are the longest on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

Have your paperwork (such as cancelled checks, amended return, etc.) ready when you call. 

Wait – I still need help 

Letters and notices aren’t always easy to understand. Here are three resources we recommend you use if you need more help: 

You can generally resolve most notices or letters without help, but you can also get the help of a professional – either the person who prepared your return, or another tax professional. 

If you can’t afford to hire a tax professional to assist you, you may be eligible for free or low cost representation from an attorney, certified public accountant, or enrolled agent associated with a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC). LITCs are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee.  For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page or IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.  This publication is also available online at www.irs.gov/forms-pubs or by calling the IRS toll-free at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). 

If your IRS problem is causing you financial hardship, see Can TAS help me with my tax issue? 

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