IRS Reference Number 9001: What It Means and How to Fix It

IRS Reference Number 9001: What It Means and How to Fix It

Though the average taxpayer may not have heard of it before, IRS reference number 9001 can be alarming when it shows up. Although it is a common error code, any error code or reject code from the IRS is worrisome when filing taxes.

Take a look at what IRS Code 9001 is and what it means for your tax return and/or refund.

What Does IRS Reference Number 9001 Mean?

IRS reference number 9001 may pop up when you’re on the Where’s My Refund page on the IRS website to find out when to expect your refund to arrive. Code 9001 is actually one of several internal IRS codes that are a part of the Internal Revenue Manual, a set of guidelines that the IRS uses for taxes.

Typically, when 9001 occurs, it means that the taxpayer tried to access return information or refund information but did not use the proper Social Security number or TIN to do so. If you are expecting a refund, this code often means you can’t access your refund status because you used the wrong Social Security number to retrieve this information.

Why Did My Tax Return Generate IRS Code 9001?

As mentioned earlier, you may get IRS Code 9001 when you attempt to access the IRS Where’s My Refund page. A tax return with multiple Social Security numbers can cause this code error to occur when you try to check your refund status. For example, if you are married and filed a joint tax return, 9901 can happen when you enter your Social Security number instead of your spouse’s.

Sometimes when parents file tax returns with a child’s Social Security number, this additional SSN can trigger IRS code 9001. For example, if you listed your children as dependents on your tax return this year, this can create a situation where their Social Security number is generating a 9001 error message when you check your return or refund status.

The same can occur if you have adult dependents that are listed on your tax return.

What is the best way to avoid this error?

To avoid IRS 9001 errors, you will need to list a primary Social Security number when you submit your tax return. This primary SSN will be linked to your return and is the Social Security number used to access your tax return and refund information. Entering a number other than this SSN will generate code 9001.

That does not mean having more than one Social Security number on a tax return is bad. It’s completely normal to do so, especially when there are adult dependents, adult spouses, and children. These numbers, though, should be secondary (only one SSN can be labeled as the primary number for accessing tax account information).

It is important to note that there could be some risk of identity theft if you receive this code. That can happen if someone else files a return in your name. However, more commonly, it is because you have tried to access the refund information with a secondary SSN instead of the primary number.

Does a 9001 Code Trigger an IRS Audit?

No, in no way does IRS code 9001 trigger an IRS tax audit. It’s simply alerting you the SSN you used to access your return or refund status isn’t what the IRS expected. Verify the primary Social Security number on your tax return and try to access your information with this number.

How Will IRS 9001 Impact My Tax Refund?

Getting this error code just means that you cannot access your refund or other tax information on the IRS website. It does not impact whether you can receive a refund or when you will receive your refund.

How Do I Fix a Code 9001 with the IRS?

If you see IRS reference number 9001, read the message on the screen to know what steps to take next. Generally, there are two options.

First, you can find the primary Social Security number associated with your tax account.

The second option is to just do nothing. If you don’t know the primary SSN on your tax return and don’t contact the IRS, you will have to wait to receive an update in the mail from the IRS.

If you are confident that you are using the right Social Security number and still struggling to access your information, you can also call the IRS to discuss whether you’re at risk of identity theft.

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