IRS acknowledges erroneous notices to certain MFJ taxpayers


The IRS has acknowledged that it has been sending erroneous balance due notices (CP-14 notices) or notices showing incorrect amounts to taxpayers.

These notices usually involve online payments made by the second spouse listed on a married filing joint (MFJ) return, although “other taxpayers may also be affected outside of this group.”

There is no need to respond to the notice. The IRS has stated that no action has to be taken if the taxpayers previously paid the tax they owed in full and on time (either electronically or by check). The IRS will automatically remove any penalties or interest assessed when the payments are applied correctly.

Taxpayers can ensure that their payment was made by checking their online account under the Social Security number of the taxpayer who made the payment.

According to the IRS, in general, when certain payments are processed, programming does not move the payment to the MFJ account when the payment is:

  • Not electronic and is made by the secondary spouse;
  • Electronic, is made by the secondary spouse, and posts before the joint return indicator is present to identify the primary taxpayer; or
  • Made by the secondary spouse using the Online Account Make a Payment functionality.

In other words, it appears it is safest to use the Social Security number of the primary taxpayer when making payments on a MFJ return.

The IRS’s announcement can be found here: www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-statement-on-balance-due-notices-cp-14

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