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IRS NOTICE: TAX RETURN ERROR

What is a CP20 notice?

Mark Steber

Chief Tax Information Officer

Published on: June 22, 2020

IRS notices are letters sent to inform taxpayers of important tax information. Each one is different, but we can explain what the CP20 is about.

Understanding your CP20 notice

You incorrectly claimed one or more deductions or credits and corrected that mistake on your tax return, resulting in a smaller refund.

Type of Notice

Tax return error

Why you received the CP20 notice

You most likely received a CP18 notice [LINK TO CP18 PAGE] alerting you that the IRS thought there might be mistakes on your return regarding deductions and/or credits claimed. You received a CP20 because there was a mistake in your tax return where you claimed one or more deductions or credits. The IRS corrected your tax return and that resulted in a smaller refund.

Likely next steps

As always, carefully read the notice, which will outline the changes that the IRS made to your return. You should also make those changes to your tax return you keep for your records.

If you disagree with the notice, you need to contact the IRS at the toll-free number listed on the CP20 in the top right-hand corner or by mail within 60 days.

CP20 Notice deadline

There is no deadline unless you disagree with the IRS changes. Then, you have 60 days from the date of the notice to contact the IRS.

About the Author

Mark Steber is Senior Vice President and Chief Tax Information Officer for Jackson Hewitt. With over 30 years of experience, he oversees tax service delivery, quality assurance and tax law adherence. Mark is Jackson Hewitt’s national spokesperson and liaison to the Internal Revenue Service and other government authorities. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), holds registrations in Alabama and Georgia, and is an expert on consumer income taxes including electronic tax and tax data protection.

More about Mark Steber Our Editorial Policy

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