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I got a letter from the IRS! It says “CP14” at the top. What do I do?

Is this a scam?
Let’s start off with a disclaimer: If you get a call from someone claiming to be at the IRS, it is 99% likely to be a scam, so hang up.

Communication with the IRS will always start with the mail. It is a very rare day when the IRS will call you, and that will never be their first point of contact.
So phone calls generally scams, take a breath, hang up.

What should I do with IRS Notices?
When you get a notice in the mail sent, if you use a professional tax preparer, send it to them.

Upload every page to your preparer’s portal (my clients use SmartVault).
Pay attention to double-sided letters, to not just send the odd number of pages.

How do I know if the notice I received is a CP14 Notice?
All the IRS letters have a code in the upper right corner of the notice, this tells you what type of notice you have received.
The most common one is a CP 2000, but the purpose of this blog is to talk about the CP 14. So if you see the notation “CP14” in the upper right hand corner, then you know you’ve received a CP14.

So what IS a CP14 Notice?
This letter is used when there’s nothing wrong with the tax return, (that’s what “no math error” means) as far as how you computed your tax, how you report your income.
However, there is a balance due of at least $5.
So this letter is essentially a notice and a bill from the IRS.

What should I do with the CP14 Notice?
First of all, you need to figure out if it’s accurate or not.
Sadly, we’re getting a lot of false positives and that’s because of a recent glitch in the IRS computers, particularly for married couples when one spouse is self-employed and submits quarterly estimates..

There are two ways to resolve this:

  1. Call the IRS. Pause. Take a Breath. It is very common for even tax preparers with our practitioner priority line to be on hold or on the phone for two hours or more, or
  2. You can respond to the notice via mail and add to the millions of envelopes in the mail pile. And sometime in the next couple of years, hopefully they will get to it. If you mail anything to the IRS, make sure to send it certified return receipt so that you can prove that they got it.

That is so frustrating! Isn’t there anything else I can do?!
I agree! Unfortunately, we don’t have a quick fix for this.
However, when a major tax problem affects more than one tax payer, you can advocate to the IRS to change it!

Here is an instructional video sharing how you can be part of solving the problem (starting at 3:40):

If you want to be a part of the solution, fill out this form today based on the instructions above.
Write your own note sharing your frustration and asking the IRS to "solve CP14 Notices."