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CP504 Notice: The IRS Says Pay Immediately or Else


Content provided for general information. Talk to your advisor to learn about recent updates or other rules that may apply to your situation.

A CP504 Notice is a final notice from the IRS that you owe taxes and must pay immediately. If you don’t make payment arrangements or contact the IRS, they will begin collection actions.

What is a CP504 notice?

A CP504 notice is a notice of intent to levy.

A levy is the IRS term for:

  • Taking money out of your bank accounts,
  • Garnishing your wages,
  • Seizing business assets,
  • Withholding Social Security benefits,
  • Seizing your state income tax refund,
  • Or taking other rights to property you have.

The IRS may also impose a tax lien on you.

Notice CP504 is generally at least the fourth notice regarding your unpaid taxes. The other IRS notices you should have received include:

  • An initial notice of a specific tax problem (which notice varies based on the problem)
  • A CP501 notice reminder of money owed to the IRS
  • A CP503 notice second reminder of your unpaid balance

Why does the IRS send CP504 notices?

An intent to levy IRS notice is a final warning that it will begin the collection process. Unlike CP501 or CP503, there will not be another reminder.

The IRS would prefer that you take the corrective action needed to resolve your outstanding balance.

How can you verify your notice is real?

By this point, you should already be aware of your tax debt. If you get a CP504 notice out of nowhere, call the IRS immediately using the phone number on their website.

A CP504 should never be the first notice you receive unless you moved and didn’t change your address with the IRS.

Can you handle a CP504 on your own?

A CP504 notice is very serious, especially if your tax debt is large.

If you have no doubt about the amount you owe and are able to pay in full, you may want to do so immediately. Otherwise, talk to a tax professional to learn more about your options.

How should you respond to a CP504 notice?

A CP504 notice is not an audit or change in your taxes. If you disagree with changes to your tax return, you need to appeal the notice you got about those changes, not the CP504.

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