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Were Wages and Withholding Verified?

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Station Overview

The CP05 notice is mailed to taxpayers to notify them that the IRS is holding their refund until the accuracy of the tax credits, income tax withholding or business expenses has been verified.

This notice or letter may include additional topics that have not yet been covered here. Please check back frequently for updates.

What does this letter mean to me?

The IRS received your tax return and is verifying your income, income tax withholding, tax credits or business income based on the information reported to the IRS under your name and Social Security Number (SSN) by employers, banks, or other payers. After the IRS finishes its review, you may be required to verify tax credits claimed, income tax withholding or business expenses before your refund will be released or applied as an overpayment to next year’s estimated tax.

How did I get here?

You filed your tax return and the IRS received it. The IRS is holding your refund while it is verifying the accuracy of your return, including one or more of the following you may have reported: credits, income (e.g., wages) and withholding that were reported on your return.

What are my next steps?


Check the return address

The first thing to do is to check the return address to be sure it’s from the IRS and not another agency.


If you didn’t file

Call the IRS immediately as you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft. Someone else may have used your personal information to file this return. Please complete and sign Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, and mail it to the IRS along with the requested documents. You can find this form online at IRS.gov. You can also refer to the IRS Identity Theft Central resource page for more information

Note: Authorized third parties may assist taxpayers, but the taxpayer must be present on the phone or in-person.

Complete and send the IRS a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, to authorize someone (such as an accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf.


If You Filed a Return

No action is required at this time. The review process could take anywhere from 45 to 180 days, as the IRS could be reviewing various issues such as wages and withholding, or credits or expenses shown on your tax return.

Once the IRS finishes its review, it may send your refund, ask for additional information, or deny all or part of your refund. If you don’t agree with the denial, you’ll have an opportunity to appeal.

If, after 60 days from the date of this notice, you have not received your refund or heard from the IRS, contact the IRS at the toll-free number listed at the top right corner of your notice.

If the entries reported on your return cannot be verified, you may be asked to submit documents verifying your wages and withholding that were reported.

If you made an error on your return or need to change the information reported, you should file a

Form 1040-X, Amended U.S Individual Income Tax Return.

Once you have successfully verified the entries on your tax return, it may take up to nine weeks for you to receive your refund or apply the overpayment to next year’s estimated tax. However, if there are other issues, you may receive a notice asking for more information, and this may delay your refund.

Where can I get additional help?

Understanding your notice or letter

Get Help topics

Browse common tax issues and situations at TAS Get Help

If you still need help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit dev.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

Related Letters and Forms

  • Notice CP05, We’re holding your refund until we finish reviewing your tax return