Understanding IRS CP53 & CP53A Letter | Direct Deposit Error

April 03, 2024 by Charla Suaste
Direct Deposit written on a piece of paper

So, you’ve received an IRS notice – IRS letter CP53 or CP53A – and you might be wondering why you received one of these letters, what they mean, and what you need to do next.

IRS CP53 and 53A letters are issued because the IRS was unable to issue your refund by direct deposit. The reasons for this might be:


  • You did not sign up for direct deposit.
  • You signed up for direct deposit, but your financial institution rejected the payment due to mismatched records. This could be a mistyped name, Social Security number, bank routing number, or bank account number.

While these notices seem similar, there are actually two distinct differences between them. Let’s discuss.


In the case of an IRS Letter CP53, the IRS is simply letting you know that you are set to get a refund, and you should expect a check in the mail within 3-4 weeks of receiving the notice. If you don’t receive your refund check within four weeks of the date on the notice, call the number listed on the letter to follow up on the status.

If you want to make sure you receive your refund check via direct deposit after filing next year’s return, the IRS recommends that you either e-file your tax return or make sure to fill out the "Refund" section of your tax form with the proper information before filing.



An IRS Letter CP53A is similar to an IRS Letter CP53 in that the issuance of your refund will be delayed. However, the delay for this particular notice can be up to 10 weeks long. Since the refund was rejected by the financial institution, the IRS will be taking this time to investigate the return and make sure nothing fraudulent has taken place. If you have still not received a refund check or follow-up letter within 10 weeks of the date of this notice, call the IRS using the number listed on the notice to follow up. Make sure to have any corresponding information, such as a copy of the notice, your tax return, bank account information, etc., available when you call.

However, if you received either of these notices and have an Audit Defense membership with TaxAudit for the year in question, call us as soon as possible, and we can investigate! All you’ll need to do is send in a copy of your notice and tax return, and one of our world-class tax professionals can look into the issue for you. If any phone calls or correspondence needs to be had with the IRS, we will happily handle them on your behalf. And if you don’t have an Audit Defense membership, now is the time to get one! For more information about what our membership entails or to see reviews from the thousands of customers we have helped over the last 30+ years in business, please click here!

Tags: tax refund



Charla Suaste
Communications Content Developer


Charla Suaste joined TaxAudit back in 2007 and, over the past 14 years, she has worked in a variety of different roles throughout the organization, including as a Customer Service Representative, Case Coordinator, and Administrative Services Assistant. She now serves as the Communications Content Developer and is passionate about writing, editing, and making even the most complex concepts easy to understand. Outside of work, Charla enjoys traveling, listening to podcasts, and spending time in her garden.


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