IRS notices are always super confusing for me the first time I see them. This notice is no exception, the first time I saw it I was really really confused. Funny enough, it turns out this notice means that the IRS is confused. So we’re all in the same boat together!
When taxpayers e-file and then get an IRS notice that says,
then it’s the IRS that got confused.
We usually find this Form 2290 notice is sent to those who e-filed and chose to pay taxes with a payment voucher. If you mail a copy of pages 1 and 2 of the paper form along with the check/money order this makes the IRS think that you’re trying to paper file and forgot to include all your documents. After all, they only have a partial copy of the paper tax form and money. They can’t finish their job (by stamping the Schedule 1) because they don’t have everything they need.
General things you should know
First – The IRS has two computer systems. The regular computer system is what the phone and mail techs use, and then there is the e-file computer system. Right now, it seems to me that there is about two weeks of delay between those systems. So when you e-file, the regular techs don’t have that information for two weeks. That’s why brand new EIN’s take about two weeks to e-file, and why e-file records aren’t available over the phone until two weeks after they were accepted. So an IRS operator may get your check before they can see if you e-filed, and even I have to admit, that would confuse me…
Second – When you e-file, and choose to pay the taxes due with a voucher you have to read the form instructions very carefully. They say two different things about two different types of filing: paper and electronic.
If you’re reading this page, you probably e-filed, so you should mail ONLY the check/money order and the voucher. Sending the IRS anything else will probably create confusion – so don’t!
Third – IRS Representatives are trained to do about a thousand different things. Nobody gets to do just one thing all the time and become an expert in that one thing. So it’s easy to bamboozle a tech by sending them something outside the norm. When IRS techs get bamboozled, they send things back to the taxpayer for clarification. That’s all this notice is – a request for clarification.
A Notice Break-Down in Pictures
We’ve already talked about the top of the notice, so I won’t go over it again. This notice is three pages and it looks a little something like this.
The second part of the notice is them telling you what to do. In this case they want copies of the requested documents sent to them by a specific date.
They also give you a phone number to call, and this one is correct. But if you aren’t in the USA you can still reach them.
Toll Free – 866-699-4096
International Phone Number – 859-669-5733
The IRS will also include a contact request form that you can fill out and mail to them. If you fill this out, they will call you back. I don’t recommend using this because if there really is a problem then it will take a LONG time to get it resolved. But you may do as you like!
The IRS will pretty much ALWAYS include a payment voucher with a notice. In this case, they aren’t asking for a payment so you can disregard it. Don’t forget, all these notices are sent out by a computer, so if little bits here and there don’t make sense – blame the computer!
What You NEED To Do
If you really did e-file, you should call the IRS at 866-699-4096 and ask them about the notice. Odds are good they will say, “What Notice? Your account is in good standing.” By the time you received the paper notice in the mail and call them back, they have usually also received the e-filed form and removed the notice. It’s always my personal policy to double-double check – it’s just not worth messing with the IRS in my opinion.
If you didn’t e-file, you can call the IRS to confirm what the notice says, or just do what the notice says. It’s up to you!
I’m not a CPA, enrolled agent, or attorney. That means I can’t and don’t interpret the law. I’m just a regular person who happens to do this a lot. While I have experience, I don’t have a fancy education, training or certifications. So in this series of articles (as in all of my articles) I’m just sharing my experience with you. Telling you how I’ve resolved things in the past, or what I’ve been told by the IRS when I call with my own questions. No guarantees that my advice is perfect, or that it works every time! It’s just what works for me…most of the time…
If this worked for you, or didn’t work for you. If this made sense, or just added to your confusion. If you have more questions, or just want to talk…
We’re here to help with any Form 2290 e-file questions. We want to help. From our family company to yours – we’re here for you!