CP59 Notice: What is it and How Should You Respond?

IRS CP59 Notice

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A CP59 notice says that you did not file your tax return. The IRS will send one when it believes you are required to file a return, but you still may have had a valid reason for not filing.

You can view an example of this notice on the IRS website.

Why did you receive a CP59 Notice?

The only reason you will receive this notice is because the IRS does not have a record of your tax return. This could be for a number of reasons:

  • You never filed.
  • You filed late and the IRS hadn’t received your return by the time it mailed the notice.
  • Your return was lost in the mail.
  • There was a problem matching your name or Social Security Number causing the IRS to not recognize that you filed. This could be a simple typo or data entry error.
  • Your tax return was rejected because of a filing error or not having a signature. You should have received another notice stating this, but you may have missed it.

What if I don’t believe I was required to file?

If you don’t believe you were required to file, you can respond to the notice explaining why.

A common situation is where your income is near the minimum income that requires you to file. The IRS may have received a W-2 or 1099 showing income above the filing threshold without realizing you had deductions that took you below it.

What should I do if I need to file?

You should file your tax return as soon as possible. Failing to file penalties accrue until you file. Interest and failing to pay penalties will accrue until you pay the balance shown on your return.

What if I’m owed a refund?

In many cases, you may be owed a refund even if you didn’t file your return. This is common if your employer withheld taxes from your wages.

You can only claim your refund by filing your return. There are no failing to file or pay penalties if you’re owed a refund, because they’re based on the amount you owe. However, you can’t receive your refund unless you file your return within three years of the original due date.

What should I do if I can’t pay what I owe?

File anyway to stop failing to file penalties. These are both separate from and larger than failing to pay penalties.

You can then make payment arrangements to pay off your back taxes. The sooner you pay, the less you’ll pay in interest penalties, so if you can only pay a little, it’s usually in your best interest to send in a partial payment.

What should I do if I don’t have the information I need to file?

You can usually see what was reported on your W-2s and 1099s by requesting your tax transcript on the IRS website. If you don’t have ready proof of your deductions, your tax accountant may be able to help you find another way of supporting them.

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Have general questions about this post or want to learn more about a related topic? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Comments are public, and I can’t provide individual advice, but it helps me make the posts more useful for the future. Please do not post personal information. If you need personal assistance, please contact the relevant government agency or hire an appropriate professional near you.

3 Comments on "CP59 Notice: What is it and How Should You Respond?"

  1. I don’t have taxable income.

    • If you call the IRS, they may be able to tell you if there’s another reason that you were required to file a tax return or they believe your income is actually taxable. If you disagree with or don’t understand their explanation, you may qualify for assistance through the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

  2. I am in social security Disability, [redacted] in 2018 and Office of personnel management retirement operations (disability) [redacted] in 2018.I was told don’t have taxable income by employed # [redacted].

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