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How to Respond to IRS Letter 12C

Last updated 03/21/2022 by

Jessica Walrack
Unless it is a refund check, nobody likes to get a letter from the IRS. It can spark a feeling of panic. However, remain calm. There is always a path you can take to resolve any issue that arises and move on.
If you receive an IRS letter 12C, the IRS simply needs more information from you in order to process your tax return. In this blog, you’ll learn:
  • What information you could be missing.
  • The steps you should take.
  • How to respond.
  • Where to turn if you need help.
Don’t worry, you can have this issue resolved soon.

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What information could be missing?

How to Respond to IRS Letter 3174
IRS Audit Letter 12C
IRS letter 12C is notifying you that the IRS thinks something is missing from your return. The missing item could be:
  • Documents that reconcile advance payments you made for the Premium Tax Credit (PTC).
  • Missing schedules or forms that support your Form 1040, 1040Z, or 1040A.
  • Documents to verify your withholding, income, and/or credit amounts.
The above items are most common but there can be others as well. The missing item will be described in the letter.

What you should do

Whenever you receive a letter from the IRS, time is of the essence. It is not always the most pleasant issue to deal with, but the sooner you handle it, the better. So don’t file the envelope away for later.
  • Open it and read it carefully.
  • If you agree with the letter and understand which documents are missing, you can follow the instructions to send them to the IRS.
  • If you disagree, there will also be instructions for how you can communicate why you think there is an error.
  • Whatever you do, do not file a form to amend your tax return. The IRS will use the documentation you provide to file your original return.
  • If you are expecting a refund, it is usually sent within six to eight weeks of receiving a satisfactory response.

How to respond

How do you respond? IRS letters provide detailed instructions on how to properly respond depending on your situation. For example, what to do if you agree and what to do if you don’t. Once you have your response prepared, you can fax it to the fax number on the letter or can mail it to the physical address provided.
Tip: Be sure to include a copy of the original letter along with your response.
You can also contact the IRS contact number for clarification.
Click here for a comprehensive guide to all IRS tax notices and letters.

What if you need help?

What if you end up owing more than you can afford to pay? You are not alone. Many Americans find themselves in this situation. Licensed tax relief professionals can help.
The government wants to collect as much as possible from taxpayers so has implemented several programs which make it easier to pay what you owe. However, understanding the programs and which will work best for you can be confusing. Hiring a professional can take some of the burden off your shoulders and help you find the best path out of tax debt.
Review and compare industry-leading tax relief firms and get a free consultation.

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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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