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Published:   |   Last Updated: December 20, 2023

Letter 3219, Notice of Deficiency

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Important

This is a 90-day notice, enter the date of your notice to help determine how much time you have left to respond.

You have [days number] days remaining to remit payment.

Please send payment immediately or contact the IRS at 1-877-777-4778

You are [days number] late to remit payment.

Please send payment immediately or contact the IRS at 1-877-777-4778

Notice Overview

Letter 3219, Notice of Deficiency (also referred to as 90-Day Letter or the taxpayer’s ticket to the Tax Court), is a taxpayer’s legal notice that the IRS is proposing a deficiency. These letters provide taxpayers with information about their right to challenge proposed IRS adjustments in the United States Tax Court by filing a petition within 90 days of the date of their notice (150 days if the notice is addressed to a person outside the United States). 

This notice or letter may include additional topics that have not yet been covered here. Please check back frequently for updates.

What does this mean to me?

The Letter 3219 is the IRS’s way of notifying you they are proposing to make changes to the return you filed and those changes will result in additional taxes being owed. Generally, this Letter is sent to a taxpayer whose audit was conducted by mail and is called a statutory notice of deficiency. The IRS is required to send any statutory notice of deficiency to a taxpayer’s last known address by certified or registered mail. The last known address is generally the address which appears on your most recently filed and properly processed federal tax return unless the IRS is given clear and concise notification of a different address. Form 8822, Change of Address, can be used by taxpayers to change their address with the IRS.

Because this letter allows you the right to challenge the proposed adjustment in the United States Tax Court without first paying the proposed adjustment, the statutory notice of deficiency is often considered “your ticket to the Tax Court.” 

The notice of deficiency must describe the basis for, and identify the amounts (if any) of, tax due.  

Sometimes, but not always, the IRS includes penalties in the notice of deficiency, but does not include interest.  The IRS will ultimately send a bill for the tax due, interest, and any applicable penalties. 

How did I get here?

You received a Letter 3219 because the IRS completed the examination of your tax return and proposed changes to the amount of tax you owe. You have either not responded or have not provided a signed agreement consenting to these changes. Without your consent, the IRS cannot assess the proposed deficiency without first providing you an opportunity to challenge these adjustments by filing a petition with the Tax Court.

While processing your tax return the IRS conducted a review of the wages, withholding, and credits claimed and was unable to verify the amounts you reported. Therefore, the IRS has proposed to disallow your wages, withholding, or credits and adjust your account, possibly resulting in a reduced refund amount or a balance due. 

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What are my next steps?

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Review the Complete Audit Report

You should review the complete audit report enclosed with your letter. You should determine if you agree with the proposed changes or wish to file a petition with the Tax Court to dispute the adjustments made by the IRS. If you agree, sign and return Form 5564, Notice of Deficiency-Waiver, which was provided with the Letter 3219, Notice of Deficiency.  You can choose to pay some or all of the liability now, or you can choose to receive a bill from the IRS. 

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If you do not agree

If you do not agree with the adjustments and intend to file a petition, you should review the information provided in your letter, along with the information and instructions available on the United States Tax Court website. The necessary forms can be found on this website, along with a Petition Kit. There is a fee for the filing of a petition; however, you may file an Application for Waiver with the Tax Court. To petition the Tax Court, you must send your petition to the United States Tax Court (not the IRS) within the 90-day (or 150-day) period shown on your notice. This is the time period prescribed by law and cannot be extended by the IRS. If you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to have a judge review your case without first paying the amount due. If you miss the deadline, the Tax Court can’t consider your case and the proposed tax will be assessed, along with any applicable penalties and interest. If the 90th day (or 150th day) is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, your petition will still be timely if filed on the next business day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. 

The notice of deficiency advises you of your right to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service. If you exercise this right, it does not extend the time you have to file a petition with the Tax Court.  In addition, the Taxpayer Advocate Service does not have the authority to determine the tax deficiency. 

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Respond to the Letter

You may be able to resolve the issue(s) in the notice of deficiency without going to court by responding to the letter, even if you disagree with the information in the letter. If you disagree, send the IRS a letter explaining what information you think is in error. Keep in mind that trying to resolve the issue(s) with the IRS does not extend the time for you to file a petition with the Tax Court.  Provide documents to support why you don’t agree. If the adjustment to your account results in a balance due, pay the amount you owe by the due date on the bill you receive from the IRS. If you can’t pay the full amount due, pay as much as you can to limit penalties and interest, and visit Paying Your Taxes to consider online payment options. If you need additional assistance, call the IRS at the toll-free number on the top right corner of your notice. 

Where can I get additional help?

Understanding your Notice or Letter

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If you still need help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (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 on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. This Publication is also available online at www.irs.gov or by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676.

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Letter 3219 Notice of Deficiency