IRS Notices Regarding a Tax Refund

Information about some of the most common notices taxpayers receive from the IRS about their refund.

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Receiving an IRS notice is not always an indication of an IRS issue. Apart from legal notices regarding tax debt, the IRS also sends notices to taxpayers to inform them about any changes they’ve made to their tax records, the status of their tax return, and changes to their tax refund.

After taxes have been filed with the IRS, taxpayers may receive one of the following notices. It is beneficial to know what the most common notices mean for taxpayers in case one shows up in their mailbox.

Notices Regarding Reviewing or Sending a Refund

  • CP05 – The IRS is reviewing a taxpayer's tax return.
  • CP05A – The IRS needs further documentation to review a taxpayer's tax return.
  • CP53 – A taxpayer's refund is being sent through mail, and not direct deposit.
  • CP53A – A taxpayer's refund could not be sent through direct deposit because their financial institution could not process it. It will take 8 to 10 weeks to reissue the refund.
  • CP21B – The taxpayer requested changes to their tax return, which were incorporated by the IRS. The refund will be delivered within 2-3 weeks of the date of the notice.
  • CP31 – The taxpayer needs to update their address because the refund check was returned to the IRS.
  • CP32 – The IRS sent a replacement refund check.
  • CP32A – Call the IRS to request the refund check.
  • CP153 – The IRS could not send the refund through direct deposit and is sending it through a refund check/credit payment by mail.

Notices that Affect Refund Amount

  • CP112 – Changes were made to the return because of a miscalculation. A refund will be issued after the changes.
  • CP16 – Changes were made to the tax return because of a miscalculation. The taxpayer owes a tax debt, and the IRS applied all or a part of the refund to satisfy the debt.
  • CP39 – The IRS used the spouse’s (current or former) tax refund to satisfy a taxpayer's tax debt.
  • CP42 – The IRS used a taxpayer's tax refund to pay their spouse’s tax debt.
  • CP49 – The IRS used all or a part of a taxpayer's refund to satisfy their tax debt.

Notices to Inform No Refund Is Due after Changes

  • CP13 – There was a miscalculation in the return, and there isn't a refund because of the changes. No additional taxes are owed.
  • CP13A – Changes were made to the return because of an error in the Earned Income Credit. There is no refund because of the changes. No additional taxes are owed.
  • CP13M – Changes were made to the return because of inaccuracies in the Making Work Pay Credit or the Government Retiree Credit. There isn't a refund or taxes owed after the changes.
  • CP13R – Changes were made to the return due to an error in the Recovery Rebate Credit. You are not due a refund or owe taxes.
  • CP25 – Changes were made to the return because there was a difference between estimated tax payments and the amount the IRS posted to your account. There isn't a refund or taxes owed.
  • CP21C – Changes requested by the taxpayer were made to the tax return, and there isn't a refund or taxes owed after the changes.

Notices Regarding Refund Being Held by the IRS

  • CP63 – The refund is being held because the IRS is reviewing whether a taxpayer has a tax debt.
  • CP07 – The IRS is holding the refund because it needs more time to review the benefits claimed on the return.
  • CP88 – The IRS is holding the refund because the taxpayer has not filed one or more tax returns. Taxes may be owed.
  • CP188 – The refund is being held until the IRS determines if a taxpayer owes taxes.
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