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IRS: Recent CP59 Notices Should Not Have Been Sent; Lawmakers Ask For Extended 2021 Tax Filing Season


Jessica L. Jeane, J.D.
Director of Public Policy & Strategic Communications
February 19, 2021

The IRS has released a statement alerting taxpayers that approximately 260,000 CP59 Notices should not have been sent. These IRS notices are generally issued to taxpayers who have failed to file a tax return for the prior calendar year.

“Due to pandemic related shutdowns, the IRS has not completed processing all 2019 returns at this time,” the IRS said in a February 18 statement. “Therefore, the CP59 notices should not have been sent because some portion of the recipients may actually have filed a return that is still being processed.”

NSA Advocacy

NSA recently sent a letter to the IRS communicating members’ concerns with the IRS’s issuance of various notices that alleged a failure to submit a 2019 tax return or required tax payment. Specifically, NSA requested that the IRS communicate its status on processing 2019 tax returns and related correspondence, as well as the IRS’s plan to remedy confusion caused by automated IRS collection notices.

“People who filed their 2019 return but nevertheless received the CP59 notice, can disregard the letter and do not need to take to take any action,” the IRS stated. “There is no need to call or respond to the CP59 notice because the IRS continues to process 2019 tax returns as quickly as possible. The IRS regrets any confusion caused by this mailing.”

Capitol Hill

Meanwhile, several lawmakers on Capitol Hill have urged the IRS to extend the 2021 tax filing season beyond April 15. “It has come to our attention that, due to the ongoing pandemic, many Americans continue to face the same challenges that necessitated extending the filing season last year,” the lawmakers wrote in a February 18 letter to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig.

In addition to noting taxpayer challenges, the lawmakers referenced the now shortened filing season as a need for extending it beyond April 15. “…[A]n added challenge this year is the condensed filing season, as April 15 will come just two months after the opening of the 2021 filing season,” they wrote. “We are troubled that this reduced timeline will exacerbate difficulties for many taxpayers who may be unprepared for the amount due with their return and will have no savings to turn to and less time to consider their options.”

Additionally, and as NSA, too, noted in its letter to the IRS, the lawmakers underscored the fact that the IRS remains behind in its processing of 2019 tax returns, while now accepting those for the 2020 tax year. “Accordingly, we request that you consider an extension of the tax return filing season with an announcement made as soon as possible to eliminate unnecessary taxpayer and practitioner anxiety,” the lawmakers wrote.

NSA recognizes that its members have varying opinions regarding the possible extension of the 2021 tax filing season, and with that understanding will continue to monitor developments and provide prompt updates.

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