IRS Transcript Codes: What They Mean and How to Solve Them

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If you’re trying to figure out why you haven’t gotten your tax refund or why the IRS is sending you a letter, the IRS transaction codes on your tax transcript can help.

Using Your Tax Transcript

What is a tax transcript?

A tax transcript is a detailed record of your tax history. It’s kind of like your school transcript but for your personal income taxes instead of your grades.

When you request your transcript from the Internal Revenue Service, you can see things like your reported income, payment history, and IRS adjustments to your tax returns.

What are IRS transaction codes?

Your tax transcript doesn’t contain detailed written explanations. It’s mostly numbers such as the amount of income, amount of tax owed, or refund amount due.

When something changes or holds up your tax return or tax refund, you’ll likely see a transaction code or what many people call a tax code. It’s usually TC followed by a three-digit number, e.g., TC 123.

Like when people say 10-4 on a radio, the transaction codes are a short way of explaining what’s going on.

Where do you get your tax transcript?

You can get your tax transcript or account transcript in your online IRS account.

If you have a state tax problem, many states have a similar system.

If you’ve never used your online IRS account before, the IRS will ask you questions to check your identity. In some cases, you may need to wait to get a confirmation code in the postal mail if the IRS can’t verify your identity online.

You can also request your IRS transcript by mail either by requesting it online or calling 1-800-908-9946. This is an automated phone number, so you shouldn’t have problems waiting on hold or not being able to get through.

What is the IRS cycle code?

The IRS cycle code is actually a date. It usually doesn’t mean anything to you.

The IRS processes things in cycles or batches internally, and the code indicates the cycle your tax return is part of.

When do IRS transcripts update?

IRS transcripts update overnight in the early morning hours when everyone is asleep. There is no need to check your tax transcript more than once per day.

What do the different IRS transcript codes mean?

IRS Code 150

TC 150 means that the IRS has determined the tax you owe based on your original tax return. In most cases, it will match the amount due or refund amount you determined when you filed.

IRS transcript code 150 means the IRS has completed its initial checks on your original return. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get audited in the future.

IRS Code 290

TC 290 says additional tax assessed. You’ll usually see added tax after an IRS audit or automatic adjustment to your tax return.

In some cases, you’ll see code 290 with a $0 adjustment. This usually means the IRS checked something on your tax return but didn’t change anything.

If you see transaction code 290 multiple times, the IRS likely checked multiple things.

IRS Code 420

TC 420 means the IRS pulled your tax return for an audit or examination. You’ll likely receive a CP75 Notice or similar notice asking you for additional information.

IRS Code 424

TC 424 is actually a step before code 420. The IRS has pulled your tax return for an audit or examination, but there’s still a chance they could decide everything checks out without contacting you.

IRS Code 570

Transaction code 570 means your tax refund is on hold. There’s nothing for you to do yet.

The IRS is holding your tax return for further processing and will either approve your refund or send you a notice.

IRS Code 571

TC 571 means your tax return is no longer frozen. There may or may not be adjustments (you’ll see an additional code or codes if the IRS made changes).

You can expect to receive your tax refund or a bill from the IRS shortly.

IRS Code 599

TC 599 means the IRS secured your tax return. You’ll often see this on your account transcript if you didn’t file your return on time and they had to contact you.

IRS Code 766

TC 766 indicates that the IRS is adding a credit to your account. This will often be from a refundable tax credit you claimed but could also be from a subsequent adjustment to your tax return.

If you see code 766, you’ll usually get a refund. However, if you owe back taxes, the IRS will usually apply any potential refund to your back taxes first.

IRS Code 768

TC 768 is your Earned Income Credit. It will usually be the amount you reported on your tax return.

The IRS splits off the Earned Income Credit because they do additional reviews on this credit.

IRS Code 806

TC 806 indicates that the IRS received your tax return. It will usually be one of the first transcript codes you see for the tax year.

IRS Code 846

TC 846 means the IRS issued your tax refund. If your Where’s My Refund Bars disappeared previously, you should now be able to go back in to track when your refund should arrive.

The refund issued date doesn’t mean that the IRS actually sent your payment but that it started the final payment process. It’s like if you told your accountant to write a check and drop it in the mail, but your accountant still has to write all the checks.

IRS Code 898

TC 898 means the IRS sent your refund to cover another debt under the Treasury Offset Program. Common examples include state tax debts or unpaid child support.

IRS Code 971

TC 971 means that the IRS is sending you a notice or letter in the mail. On the same line, there should be a notice or letter number.

Look up the notice or letter number to find out what you should expect.

IRS Code 977

Transaction Code 977 means the IRS is done processing your amended return. It’s similar to code 150.

The IRS is sending you a bill or refund based on the amended return filed. The IRS did an initial review of your amended return, but it’s possible you could be selected for an audit in the future.

From this point, refund checks for amended returns usually take four to six weeks.

Condition Code G

Condition code G means the IRS has placed a freeze on your account while it resolves other matters. Your other transcript codes will usually give you additional information.

If you’re trying to pay tax that you owed, the IRS may still be calculating the penalties, so you may not be able to receive a payoff balance.

How do you contact IRS customer service?

It’s usually best to wait until you get a letter from the IRS to contact customer service for two reasons. First, most letters have a direct phone number to call the actual IRS department that’s responsible for whatever is holding up your tax refund.

Second, it takes time for things to go through the IRS computer system. If you’re checking your tax transcript daily and call the IRS as soon as you see a change, the phone representatives may not have access to the new information in their computer system.

If you don’t get a letter within two to three weeks or you moved without changing your address, go to the IRS website and call the main customer service number. Support hours are normally 7am to 7pm in your local time zone except Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time.

5 thoughts on “IRS Transcript Codes: What They Mean and How to Solve Them”

  1. My transcript has the tax code 971 & 977. They both have the same date next to them and an amount of $0. Does that mean the date they received my amended return is the same date it was done being processed? I don’t understand? I never received any letters or notices explaining. When I check the return status tool, it still says it has not been processed yet. It has been 11months since I mailed in my 1040x form. Can anyone please explain to help me understand what is going on.


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