IRS Letter 531 – Notice of Deficiency


The IRS audited your tax return and the changes resulted in additional taxes owed. If you want to contest this determination you may petition the U.S. Tax Court.

Type of notice: Return accuracy

Likely next step: Handle an IRS audit

Also see: IRS penalties, IRS bill for unpaid taxes

Why you received IRS Letter 531

  1. You filed a tax return that was selected for an audit.
  2. The auditor proposed changes to the tax return which resulted in an increase in taxes due.
  3. You received a notice giving you 30 days to appeal the proposed increase in taxes.
  4. You either did not appeal the auditor’s changes, or the Appeals Officer agreed with some or all of the auditor’s changes.
  5. The IRS sent Letter 531 to notify you of the tax deficiency and advise you of your right to file a petition in U.S. Tax Court. The petition must be filed within 90 days of the date on the notice. If you do not want to petition the Tax Court, you can sign the waiver which may limit the accumulation of interest.

Notice deadline: 90 days

If you miss the deadline: The IRS will send you a bill for the unpaid balance due.

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