Should You Fight an IRS CP13 Notice?

Content provided for general information. Talk to your advisor to confirm the details for your specific situation before taking action.

If you’ve received a CP13 notice, it means the IRS made changes to your return. You don’t need to pay extra, and won’t be getting an additional tax refund. You should still review your tax return.

Why did I get IRS notice CP13?

IRS Notice CP13 tells you that the IRS made changes to your tax return, but the changes didn’t change what you owe.

In many cases, you may have had a deduction or non-refundable credit that you weren’t fully using. Even though the IRS changes increased your taxes, the deduction or credit also increased to keep your balance due at zero.

In some cases, the IRS changes to your tax return might result in a very small amount of tax due. The IRS often writes off a small account balance because it costs them more to collect it.

There are two common forms of IRS Notice CP13 — the general IRS Notice CP13 and IRS Notice CP13A. Notice CP13A is specifically about the Earned Income Tax Credit.

General IRS Notice CP13 Notice: What to Do

Even when your Notice CP13 tells you you don’t have to send a payment, you should still carefully review the notice and your tax return. There could be other problems that could affect you now or in the future.

There are two common reasons you should look into why the IRS made changes. If you need help, chat with a tax pro now.

Changes to Your Reported Income

The Adjusted Gross Income on your tax return can affect more than just the tax that you owe. Examples include Social Security benefits, Obamacare subsidies, student loan repayments, Medicaid eligibility, or other income-contingent programs.

So if the IRS said you had a miscalculation of your income, don’t assume it doesn’t matter if it didn’t change your tax due. Verify that the IRS changes to your income are correct.

Other Mistakes on Your Return

Even if the IRS already changed your tax return, it doesn’t mean there are no more mistakes. The IRS can still review your tax return or audit you for other reasons at a later date.

It’s also possible that you originally made a miscalculation but the IRS changes aren’t completely accurate, either.

For example, say you claimed $1,500 for a deduction. The IRS changed your tax return saying your deduction should only be $500. Your actual deduction should be $1,000.

You can also have a situation likely a completely incorrect tax deduction that the IRS didn’t catch yet but might catch later.

If you don’t check your tax return and the IRS figures out you owe more taxes later, you’ll pay more in interest and penalties.

You also could have paid too much tax and be entitled to an additional refund. While the IRS will sometimes send you an additional refund on its own, there’s no guarantee that the IRS will catch that you paid too much.

CP13A Notice for Earned Income Tax Credit

Everything above about a general CP13 Notice applies to a CP13A Notice regarding your Earned Income Tax Credit. In addition, it’s always very important to check any potential issues with your EITC.

If you incorrectly claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, the IRS can ban you from taking it in future years. So what’s at risk isn’t just having to pay more taxes and penalties on an old tax return. You can also lose the right to claim tax credits you’d otherwise be entitled to on future tax returns. 

Responding to a CP13 Notice

After you check your CP13 notice, there are two things you might want to do.

If you’ve reviewed the notice and your tax return and think the IRS changes are right, you usually don’t need to do anything. If you think the changes are incorrect, you can either call the IRS or send a written response to your notice.

What is the notice deadline for a CP13?

In most cases, the IRS will assume you agree with the changes it made if you don’t respond to your notice within 60 days.

If you do disagree with any part of the notice, call the IRS toll-free number or use the mailing address on your notice. You can also visit

What do I do if I think my refund should have been larger?

You have two options if you review the IRS changes and realize that you made a mistake but the IRS didn’t fully correct it.

  • If the IRS made changes that you believe aren’t 100% correct, you can dispute your CP13 notice.
  • If you noticed you made another error that the IRS didn’t address, you’ll probably want to file an amended return with the correct information.

Does a CP13 Notice let me off the hook if I think I owe more taxes?

In some cases, you may realize that you made an error and should have paid more in taxes.

Notice CP13 is not saying that you don’t owe more, that you filed your return properly, or that you won’t be audited in the future.

Notice CP13 is saying that the IRS found a calculation error and corrected that specific error. There could still be other errors that the IRS didn’t find yet.

To avoid possible interest and penalties in the future, you’ll usually want to file an amended return to correct any errors the IRS missed.

What if I completely agree with the IRS?

If you agree with the changes the IRS made and don’t believe you made any other errors, you generally don’t need to respond to the IRS. The IRS letter will usually say that you don’t need to respond unless you disagree and that you don’t need to make a payment.

You should save the Notice CP13 with the rest of your tax documents.

How long does the IRS take to respond?

The IRS often takes 6-8 weeks to respond after you reply to your notice. You may receive Letter 2645C if they expect it to take longer.


You often don’t have to do anything with a CP13 notice because it doesn’t ask you to make a payment. However, it may still be a good idea to go over your original tax return again in case you missed something else.

13 thoughts on “IRS Notice CP13: Changes to Your Tax Return”

  1. i believe I am due back $846 dollars I paid from my bank account because I already paid $5125 in taxes and the IRS applied $28 from my 2018 return which totals $5153 please advise

    • Check the difference between the “total tax” and “total payments and credits” under IRS calculations on your notice. If it’s $846, you should be getting that as a refund within 4-6 weeks. If not, call the IRS or bring your notice to a tax professional.

      You can also confirm your current account balance or refund by logging into your IRS online account. If you’re owed a refund, you can use the IRS Where’s My Refund tool to track it.

  2. I didn’t recieve my third check and filed through Tax Slayer witch said that I would get it. But now recieved the CP13 letter but can’t get through by phone or internet. Please tell me what happened. I’m disabled and could really use the money.

  3. Been trying to call and couldn’t get through, about a cp13 letter. It said I was not getting the refund I claimed on my return. The letter showed information on my tax calculations was the same as the IRS calculations. So why am I not getting my refund?

  4. I have been Retired since 2010 but was told to file a tax return this year is I want my stimulate check. I got a letter today saying that my form 1040R. IRS changed my return and now they are telling me that I don’t get my stimulus. 70 years of age I am and life is tough on 19000 only. I need the money. the first stimulus check was put directly in my checking account. why the change. Did you think I would conveniently die.

  5. I have been trying to get someone to answer my question??? I need to find out what the hell happened to my stimulus check $1,400.00 I never got that last year or this year. The IRS is telling me they already sent it to me but my bank does not show any deposit and nothing came in the mail, so who got my $1,400 stilmulus and who got my last stimulus $600 from last year. Who can I talk to so that they can show me who got my stimulus money, if check who signed it, if deposit WHERE DEPOSITED, WHICH BANK, UNDER WHO’S NAME

  6. I received the CP13 notice and have been trying to get in touch with you both on the phone and the internet. All attempts have resulted in being requested to call back or couldn’t locate the link to disagree with your decision. You made all EIS payments electronically to our bank accounts therefore providing proof of lack of payment on EIS3. My 2021 tax return should not have been amended or changed by you since only half of the third stimulus payment was received. You can see the amount of payment by looking at my bank account statement(s). Please consider this comment as a request to reverse your changes to my 2021 tax return and issue the refund. Thank you for your time and understanding of this issue.

    • This is not the IRS. To respond to an IRS notice, use the fax number or mailing address on the notice. If you aren’t sure if the notice is valid, you would need to call the IRS until you can get through.

  7. I have tried calling several times, did online too ,never got a response, I know you are busy, just wanted to let you know that someone had filed a tax return using my name and SS numbers .I also wanted to inform you that I recently moved and did not get my stimulus payments. I have no dependents, am only receiving Social Security pension from my deceased ex husband and I am presently unemployed. Thanks to all of you if you can help me get this matter resolved. Have a wonderful day. Happy Fourth!


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