I received a CP2000 notice from the IRS. Now what?

April 30, 2020 by Robin Scott-Hutchens, EA
Woman reading CP2000 letter from the IRS

Few things will get your heart racing in a negative way like opening your mailbox to find a letter from the IRS inside. Your first instinct might be to bury it in a drawer without opening it. If you don’t open it, they don’t know you received it and will not be able to do anything about it. Right? Wrong.

The first step toward taking control is to open that envelope and see what sort of letter it is. If you have received a CP2000 notice from the IRS, it helps to understand what it is and how to handle it.

Here are a few essential things to know about a CP2000:

A CP2000 is a computer-generated notice. The IRS matching computer takes information reported by third parties (like employers and financial institutions) and compares it to the information reported on your filed tax return. If the computer cannot easily determine that your tax return and the third-party documents match up, a notice gets issued to you, the taxpayer. This notice alerts you to the difference and any potential tax that may be due because of the perceived error.

Another thing to understand about a CP2000 notice involves a keyword in that last sentence − “potential.” Nothing is set in stone yet. The IRS is giving you time to respond with your side of the story. How generous of them!

Finally, know that you do not have to handle this alone. Enlisting the help of a tax professional who is familiar with navigating this type of situation can be invaluable and relieve a considerable amount of stress.

If you purchased an Audit Defense membership for the year in question, you can have your notice reviewed by a tax professional who will assist you in achieving resolution for your audit. There’s no need to attempt to figure out what they are looking for or try to decipher the tax agency’s meaning. And there is no need to wait endlessly on the phone for an IRS agent to answer your questions.

If you receive a CP2000 notice from the IRS, the first thing to do is take a deep breath. Then seek out the expertise of a tax pro, such as the experts at TaxAudit. Don’t suffer through the process alone. There is a way to get immediate help.



Karen Reed, EA


During her years as an audit representative for TaxAudit, Karen successfully defended the company’s members throughout the entire federal and state audit processes, handled cases assigned to US Tax Court, and developed procedures to make the audit process easier for taxpayers. Karen attributes a great deal of her tax acumen to the six tax seasons she spent as a return reviewer, analyzing thousands of returns. Responding in writing to questions from taxpayers, she became familiar with the common mistakes self-preparers make. Karen was previously the manager of the Tax Education and Research Department and the Director of Communications at TaxAudit. Her tax advice has been featured in U.S. News and World Report, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications.


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