The Internal Revenue Service is halting sending balance-due notices to taxpayers until the agency significantly reduces its backlog of mail.
The pause affects three notices – the CP-501, the CP-503, and the CP-504 — all of which are automatic follow-up notices mailed to taxpayers if they don’t initially respond to the first balance-due notice, or the CP-14.
The agency is suspending these mailings in case taxpayers already mailed a payment to the IRS that remains unopened. The IRS has a backlog of unopened mail that piled up when its operations were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The last thing Americans need in the middle of this pandemic is an unnecessary scare from the IRS regarding tax bills that have already been paid out but are stuck in a backlog,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Robert Neal (D-MA) in a statement. Neal had previously called on the IRS to suspend the mailings. “The suspension of these notices while the IRS processes its mail will spare taxpayers of needless confusion and worry.”
Some taxpayers and tax professionals may still receive these notices in the next few weeks because the mailings had already been processed before the IRS announcement. The agency will continue to reassess its mail inventory to determine when it will resume sending out the notices.
The IRS previously said any payments in the unopened mail will be posted and credited on the date the agency received them instead of the date it opened and processed them. If the IRS has yet to cash your check for your tax bill, don’t cancel the check and make sure there is enough money in your bank account for the IRS to process the payment.
The agency is providing relief from bad check penalties for bounced checks the agency received between March 1 and July 15 because of delays in its processing.
If you received but haven’t responded to an initial balance due notice (CP-14), you should respond promptly, the IRS said. Go to the IRS website to find out your options to make payments other than by mail.