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How to Respond to an IRS Notice of Deficiency Letter CP531

Last updated 06/26/2019 by

Jessica Walrack
Did you receive a Notice of Deficiency (CP531) from the IRS? If so, it means that the information the IRS received about you was different from what you reported on your return. Further, it proposes that you owe more tax. It’s important to respond to IRS Letter 531 promptly, especially if you disagree. Read on to learn more about how to do so.

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Do you agree with the Notice of Deficiency?

If you agree with the IRS Notice of Deficiency, you need to sign the form which was sent with the letter and mail it to the IRS in the envelope provided. By doing so, you will be responsible for paying the amount due and will receive a bill.
If you can’t pay, you need to contact the IRS to set up payment arrangements. You may also be able to set up a payment arrangement online. Learn more here.

What if you disagree with IRS Letter 531?

If you review IRS Letter 521 and compare it to your records and find that the changes are not correct, you can challenge it. First, contact the IRS by phone and let them know about the discrepancy. You may be able to resolve the dispute without a petition.
The representative will likely ask you to send a signed statement explaining what you disagree with, along with documentation which proves your points. It should be sent right away as the clock will be ticking on the time to file a petition.
Follow up after sending the letter to ensure it was received and is being considered. If you and the IRS can not come to an agreement, you can then take the next step of filing a petition with the U.S. Court.
If the time is almost up to file a petition and you have not made any progress, you may want to consider filing the petition as well.

What if I don’t respond?

If you don’t respond to IRS letter 521, the IRS will assess the proposed changes and will send you a bill. Being so, it is important to determine if you disagree while you have the opportunity to file a dispute.

Do I need to amend my tax return?

If the section of the letter titled “Changes to your tax return” is correct, you don’t need to amend your return.
However, if you do have additional expenses, income, or credits to report, you may need to. For verification, call the IRS or speak with a tax representative.

Where can I find professional help with my IRS Letter 531?

Dealing with the IRS can be stressful and confusing. Plus, it has the upper hand if you don’t know all the rules and regulations. But a tax relief firm can help to balance the scales. You can tell them your situation and they will help you find the best solution.
If you aren’t sure which one to choose, check out the list of industry-leading firms below. You can click on one to read reviews from past customers and find out more about the services.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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Jessica Walrack

Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar,, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.

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