IRS Notice CP80: Missing Tax Return

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An IRS CP80 notice means they received one or more tax payments but no tax return for that tax period. Here’s what you should do.

What payments did the IRS receive?

A tax payment or credit to your account could refer to several things.

  • You paid by check or online
  • You made estimated tax payments
  • You applied your tax refund from last year to this year’s taxes
  • You had taxes withheld from a job
  • You had other tax withholding from investing, gambling earnings, or some other source of income

What should you do if you already filed your tax return?

If you already filed a tax return, send a copy of your original return to the address on your CP80 notice. Don’t mail it to another address or file online so it’s connected to your CP80 notice.

Include a written explanation that you already filed. Attach an electronic filing receipt, proof of mailing, or other proof of when you filed if possible.

If you included a check with a mailed tax return, check to see if it was cashed. If it wasn’t, send a new check and consider stopping payment on the original. If it was, include proof of payment. Describe what you are doing and why in your explanation to the IRS.

What should you do if you didn’t file a tax return?

If you didn’t file a tax return, you will generally want to file as soon as possible. There are penalties for filing late based on how much tax you owe.

If you are not required to file a tax return, you will likely want to. If you have a credit for payment on your account, you may be entitled to a refund. Filing a tax return is how you can get your refund.

In some cases, you may be able to transfer your credit to a different tax year without filing a tax return by calling the IRS. It will depend on whether the IRS needs the information that would be in your tax return.

What happens if you owe money?

You may owe additional taxes if you never filed a tax return, even if the IRS says you have a credit on your account. If you haven’t filed a tax return, they may not be aware of all of your income. The credit may not cover all of the taxes you owe.

You may owe penalties and interest on any unpaid taxes. The longer you wait to file (or wait for the IRS to figure out you owe money), the more you’ll owe in penalties and interest.

What happens if you’re supposed to get a refund?

You will generally need to file a tax return to get a refund. Late filing penalties are based on the taxes you owe, so there’s usually no penalty for filing late when you’re owed a refund.

If you don’t file a tax return within three years of the original due date, you may lose your right to receive a refund.

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