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What is a CP42 notice?

Jo Willetts, EA Director, Tax Resources Published On May 05, 2020

IRS notices are letters sent to inform taxpayers of important tax information. Each one is different, but we can explain what the CP42 is about.

Understanding your CP42 notice

Your spouse owed the IRS overdue tax debt and the IRS has used some or all of your refund to pay that debt.

Type of Notice

Tax debt

Why you received the CP42 notice

You received a CP42 notice because some, or all, of your tax refund was used to pay your spouse’s overdue tax debt.

Likely next steps

As always, carefully read the notice, which will tell you how the IRS used your refund and how much of your refund, if any, is left.

However, if your spouse disagrees with the IRS assessment, contact the IRS by the phone number or mailing address in this notice.

If your spouse does owe these taxes, and you did not file a joint return with the spouse during the year(s) the taxes were accrued, you can file a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation to receive your share of the refund.

CP42 Notice deadline 

The only deadline for the CP42 notice is the normal statute of limitations to receive a refund, three years beyond the due date of the tax return or two years past the date the return was filed, and the taxes paid, whichever is later. The deadline is based on the tax year of the refund.

If you miss the deadline

There is generally no extension for filing an injured spouse request.

About the Author

Jo Willetts, Director of Tax Resources at Jackson Hewitt, has more than 25 years of experience in the tax industry. As an Enrolled Agent, Jo has attained the highest level of certification for a tax professional. She began her career at Jackson Hewitt as a Tax Pro, working her way up to General Manager of a franchise store. In her current role, Jo provides expert knowledge company-wide to ensure that tax information distributed through all Jackson Hewitt channels is current and accurate.

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