A 90-day letter (CP3219N) is a notice of deficiency. What it means is that the IRS did not receive your tax return so it calculated your tax, interest, and penalties for you. The IRS bases their calculation on information reported by your employer(s), financial institutions, etc.
When you receive the letter, you have 90 days from the date of the letter to respond, hence the name 90-day letter. Here are the steps you should take to respond to IRS CP3219
Steps to respond to an IRS 90-day letter (CP3219N)
1. Read through the letter thoroughly and determine if the tax, interest, and penalties are correct.
2. If everything is accurate, sign and return the response form. Call the IRS if you don’t think you need to file. If you disagree, file your tax return as soon as possible and follow the next steps.
3. If you want to try to avoid filing a petition, call the phone number on your letter (in the top right corner). If you prefer, you can write to the return address explaining your case.
4. If you can’t get it resolved by phone or mail, the next step is to file a petition with the tax court. To do so, visit the website for US tax court forms and download the petition form.
4. Carefully read through the entire petition form and fill it out. The form requires you to explain why you disagree with the tax notice and to state the facts upon which you rely. You must also pay a $60 filing fee.
5. Once complete, mail your petition to the following address:
United States Tax Court
400 Second Street, NW
Washington, DC 20217
You must file the petition before the cut-off date listed on the notice. The Tax Court will not extend the filing window. The only exception is if the addressee is out of the country, in which case, they get 150 days.
After mailing in your petition, the IRS may settle your case by mutual agreement. If not, you will receive a notice with the date, time, and location of your trial. Your trial will be before a judge but no jury.
Click here for a comprehensive guide to all IRS tax notices and letters.
Frequently asked questions about IRS 90-day letters
What is the Simplified Tax Procedure?
If you owe less than $50,000 per tax year, including penalties, the Tax Court offers a simplified procedure. The trial is less formal and speeds up the process. However, you cannot appeal the decision.
How can you prevent a 90-day letter?
By filing your tax returns on time each year, you will not have to worry about this notice of deficiency. Even if you owe and can’t pay, it is better to file and find a payment solution.
What if you can’t pay the amount you owe when you file your tax return?
The IRS has several programs in place to help you settle what you owe. However, it is often best to hire a tax relief firm. They can potentially save you thousands of dollars, prevent criminal charges, and reduce the time you spend managing the issue.
Review and compare tax relief firms below.