But the Tax Check Was Mailed—Now What?

August 24, 2020 | Article

What to Do if you Received an IRS Notice Related to Late Tax Payment

Most taxpayers breathed a sigh of relief when the due date for the filing and payment of the tax due on their 2019 income tax return was moved to July 15, 2020. After all, they had plenty of extra time since the April 15 due date was moved.

But now, many taxpayers are receiving late notices and tax payment due letters in the mail. The problem? It appears the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may have a problem processing all those July 15 payments that were made by check.

Using a date of August 17, 2020, the IRS sent out over 5 Million CP14 notices. And, by any count, that’s a lot for one day.

IRS Temporarily Stops Mailing Notices to Taxpayers with Balances Due
In order to avoid any further confusion for taxpayers who previously received a CP14 and sent a payment to the IRS, the IRS has temporarily suspended the mailing of three notices—the CP501, the CP503, and the CP504. These notices are sent automatically to taxpayers who have a balance due on their taxes. The IRS is taking this step to avoid confusion for taxpayers who previously received a balance due notice (CP14) and mailed a payment to the IRS; however, that payment may still be unopened. In addition, to provide fair and equitable treatment, the IRS also is providing relief from bad check penalties for dishonored checks the agency received between March 1 and July 15 due to delays in IRS processing. As the IRS works to stop these mailings at processing centers, some taxpayers and tax professionals may still receive these notices during the next few weeks due to the delivery of existing mailings. Click here for more information.

What is a CP14 Notice?
A CP14 notice is a computer-generated form used by the IRS to tell a taxpayer that they have a tax payment due. It is also used for other things the IRS believes are important for the taxpayer to know about the payment or return for which the tax is due.

The August 17 CP14 notice told taxpayers that the IRS had received their tax return, but the tax shown as due, according to the IRS, was still due.

Why Am I Getting A Tax Payment Due Notification?
The reason for the IRS computer generating the 5 million recent CP14 notices seems to be that the IRS has been unable to timely process payments. Why? It appears the delay in both delivery and processing is caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns.

If you received one of the millions of CP14 notices, the IRS is aware. The disconnect caused by payments not being processed into the IRS computer system created the automatic distribution of the CP14 notices.

What should I do with the tax payment due notification?
The IRS suggests the following:

  • Allow time for the payments to be input and processed. When that happens, a revised tax notice will be issued, likely curing the issue.
  • Do not place a stop payment on the tax payment check. That will only serve to bring the potential of interest and penalties into play since the check would not be processed.

Checks received by the IRS will be posted to a taxpayer’s account based on the “Mailbox Rule.”

The Mailbox Rule basically says that a return, claim for refund etc. or a payment due is considered timely filed or paid if deposited into the hands of the U.S. Postal System in an envelope (or other acceptable packaging), properly addressed with the required postage paid, and the date of post mark falls on or before the due date of the item being submitted. If all this is properly done, the postmark date is deemed the date of delivery or payment. Returns, or payments, filed outside the United States or utilizing a designated private delivery service can also make use of the Mailbox Rule.

Stay Up to Date When Your Tax Payment Goes Through

Receiving a notice from the IRS usually causes a taxpayer a great amount of anxiety. However, for this particular issue, there is a solution. If you made your required payment, the situation should fix itself once the IRS has had time to properly process tax payments. If you didn’t make the proper payment when due, the IRS will require a response to the CP14 notification and payment of the tax payment due.

Tax planning and preparation can be confusing and complex.

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