When a taxpayer who receives social security has unpaid back taxes, the IRS sends a CP91 notice to inform the individual of its intent to levy their social security benefits to pay the tax debt. If you recently received an IRS notice CP91, it means the IRS plans to start taking up to 15% of your social security check to offset your back taxes. Read More: Back Taxes and Social Security Disability – What You Should Know.
Although this can be an alarming IRS notice to receive, you have several options to protect your monthly social security check.
Here are the answers to the most common IRS CP91 notice questions.
What Is a CP91 Notice?
A CP91 notice is a letter sent by the IRS informing you that it plans to levy up to 15% of your monthly social security benefits to offset your back taxes. The IRS sends this letter as a warning before it begins taking money from your social security check. This gives you time to dispute your CP91 notice or make alternative payment arrangements with the IRS to avoid having your social security benefits levied.
Why Did the IRS Send Me a CP91 Notice?
The IRS sent you a CP91 notice because you receive social security, and according to their records, have unpaid back taxes that they plan to offset with a levy on your social security benefits.
When a social security recipient owes back taxes, their SSI benefits can be a favorite target for the IRS to recover tax debt, as unlike job or investment income, social security benefits are guaranteed.
What Do I Do When I Receive a CP91 Notice?
If you receive an IRS CP91 notice, agree that you owe the IRS back taxes, and do not object to the social security benefits levy to offset your tax debt, you do not have to do anything. But if you disagree with the CP91 notice or want to make alternative payment arrangements to avoid having your social security check levied, you should contact the IRS at the phone number provided on the CP91 notice.
How Much Time Do I Have to Respond to a CP91 Notice?
You have 30 days to contact the IRS and file a CP91 dispute or make alternative payment arrangements. If the IRS does not hear from you after you receive your CP91 notice, they will proceed with placing a levy on your social security benefits.
What If I Disagree with a CP91 Notice?
If you disagree with the information on your CP91 notice and the back taxes you owe the IRS, you can file a dispute. You should first gather every piece of supporting documentation you have that can back up your position. To initiate the CP91 notice dispute process, you can contact the IRS using the phone number on the letter to speak with a representative.
Should I Contact the Social Security Administration When I Receive a CP91 Notice?
No, you should not contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) after receiving a CP91 notice. SSA cannot help you with back taxes issues or stop a social security levy. They will simply refer you to back to the IRS. Contact the IRS number on your CP91 notice instead of the Social Security Administration.
How Much of My Social Security Benefits Can the IRS Levy?
The IRS can levy up to 15% of your social security benefits from every SSI check regardless of your total monthly social security income amount. Read more: Can The IRS Take My Social Security Benefits?
How Do I Stop a Social Security Levy When I Receive a CP91 Notice and Can’t Pay the IRS?
Assuming your CP91 notice was not sent in error and that you owe the IRS back taxes, you have a couple of tax relief options if you cannot afford to pay the IRS the full amount.
If you are suffering financial hardship, you can submit an Offer in Compromise (OIC), in which the IRS can agree to accept a lower amount to settle your back taxes.
If the IRS does not accept your OIC, you can still set up an IRS installment agreement to make smaller monthly payments based on your income and other debts. We can help you pursue these IRS relief options.
How Can Wiztax Help?
The key is to get started. Ignoring these notices makes everything more complicated. Call us today at (866) 568-4593 to learn more about how we can help (we never charge for “consultations” or “investigations”).
Or start here to take our free online evaluation.
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