If you got a CP54B, CP54E, CP54G, or CP54Q notice, the IRS needs more information information. This is usually to verify your name, Social Security Number, or tax identification number.
What do CP54 notices mean?
These notices are identical except for the specific piece of information the IRS is asking for or what it will do with that information.
- CP54B Notice: The IRS won’t process your refund without more information.
- CP54E Notice: The IRS needs additional info to apply your estimated tax payments.
- CP54G Notice: General request to verify information.
- CP54Q Notice: Follow up notice that the IRS didn’t receive your response to previous notices.
Why did you receive a CP54 notice?
For some reason, either your name or tax identification number on your tax return didn’t match the IRS records. This could be due to:
- A typo by you or your tax preparer.
- A name change.
- A recent update to your info with the Social Security Administration.
- Obtaining a new tax identification number.
- Estimated tax payments marked incorrectly such as payment for Form 1040
- One spouse entering the other’s information incorrectly
In some cases, a CP54 notice may also result from identity theft where someone attempted to file a tax return or obtain a refund using your information. One last thing you might want to do is double check your Social Security card just to make sure you remembered your Social Security Number correctly.
How should you respond to a CP54 Notice?
First, verify that the CP54 notice is about something you filed with the IRS. For example, check that you filed a tax return for the year stated and look at your copy of that tax return to see if there was either a possible error or a recent change that the IRS might not be aware of. You should also search the phone number and address on the notice to verify that they actually belong to the IRS.
You can view an example of this notice on the IRS website.
If you’re sure it’s safe to provide the information, send in the response form that was included with your notice.
If you believe you may have been the victim of identity theft, don’t understand why the IRS sent you the notice, or aren’t sure if the notice is valid, go to the IRS website and look up the phone number for your area.
If you receive a CP54Q notice after you already sent in your information, it may simply be because the IRS hadn’t processed it by the time it mailed the CP54Q notice (processing can take several weeks). You can probably ignore the CP54Q notice, but it’s safer to call the IRS to confirm.
Depending on how hard it is, you may also want to just go ahead and send all the documentation the IRS requested and note on your response form that you responded previously. If you’re not comfortable handling this on your own, chat with a tax expert online.
Do you need to contact the Social Security Administration?
The IRS says to contact the Social Security Administration to update your records if:
- you recently married and are using your spouse’s last name and you did not contact SSA to update your records,
- you legally changed your name without contacting SSA to update your records, or
- your Social Security Number and/or name are different from when you received your Social Security Card.
In most cases, you will need to resolve any Social Security issues before you can correct your IRS file.
Will I owe money?
A CP54 notice is a request to confirm your name or tax identification number not an audit. It generally won’t affect what you owe because the IRS isn’t reviewing the dollar amounts on your tax return.
A CP54 notice means the IRS needs to verify your personal information before it can process your Form 1040. It’s not a tax audit, but you do need to contact the IRS to resolve the issue.