CP2000 Notice of Underreported Income: What to Do

Receiving a CP2000 Notice from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be alarming and stressful for any taxpayer. This notice alerts you that the IRS has identified discrepancies between the income reported on your tax return and the information reported by third-party sources, such as employers, banks, or financial institutions. Specifically, the CP2000 Notice of Underreported Income indicates that you may owe additional taxes due to unreported income. In this article, we’ll explore what to do if you receive a CP2000 Notice, how to respond to it effectively, and steps you can take to address the situation with the IRS.

Understanding the CP2000 Notice

The CP2000 Notice is not a formal audit but rather a proposed adjustment to your tax return based on information received from third-party sources. The notice typically includes:

  1. Explanation of Discrepancies: The CP2000 Notice outlines the specific discrepancies identified by the IRS, such as unreported income, discrepancies in deductions or credits claimed, or other issues affecting your tax liability.
  2. Proposed Changes: The notice proposes adjustments to your tax return to correct the discrepancies identified by the IRS. This may include increasing your taxable income, recalculating your tax liability, and assessing additional taxes, penalties, and interest.
  3. Response Deadline: The CP2000 Notice specifies a deadline by which you must respond to the proposed changes. Failing to respond within the specified timeframe may result in the IRS assessing the proposed adjustments and issuing a tax bill for the additional amount owed.
  4. Instructions for Response: The notice provides instructions on how to respond to the proposed changes, including options for agreeing or disagreeing with the adjustments, providing additional information or documentation, and submitting a response to the IRS.

What to Do if You Receive a CP2000 Notice

If you receive a CP2000 Notice of Underreported Income from the IRS, here are the steps you should take:

  1. Review the Notice Carefully: Take the time to carefully review the CP2000 Notice, including the explanation of discrepancies, proposed changes, and response deadline. Understanding the specifics of the notice is crucial for formulating an appropriate response.
  2. Compare Information: Compare the information provided in the CP2000 Notice with your records, including tax returns, income statements, and financial documents. Identify any discrepancies or errors that may have led to the underreporting of income.
  3. Gather Documentation: Gather any relevant documentation to support your position and refute the proposed adjustments. This may include pay stubs, bank statements, receipts, or other records that substantiate the income reported on your tax return.
  4. Respond Promptly: Respond to the CP2000 Notice promptly to avoid further escalation of the issue. Even if you agree with the proposed adjustments, it’s essential to respond to the notice within the specified timeframe to avoid penalties and interest.
  5. Choose Your Response Option: The CP2000 Notice provides options for responding to the proposed adjustments, including agreeing with the changes, disagreeing with the changes, or requesting additional time to respond. Consider your response carefully and choose the option that best aligns with your circumstances.
  6. Provide Explanation or Documentation: If you disagree with the proposed adjustments, provide a detailed explanation or submit supporting documentation to substantiate your position. Clearly articulate why you believe the proposed changes are incorrect and provide evidence to support your argument.
  7. Seek Professional Assistance: If you’re unsure how to respond to the CP2000 Notice or need assistance in preparing your response, consider seeking help from a qualified tax professional, such as an enrolled agent, certified public accountant (CPA), or tax attorney. These professionals have expertise in dealing with IRS notices and can provide guidance and support throughout the process.

Addressing the Issue with the IRS

Once you’ve prepared your response to the CP2000 Notice, you can submit it to the IRS by following the instructions provided in the notice. The IRS will review your response and documentation and determine whether to accept your explanation or proceed with the proposed adjustments. If the IRS accepts your response, they will update your tax records accordingly. If they disagree with your response, they may initiate further communication or take additional steps to resolve the issue.

It’s essential to maintain open communication with the IRS and respond promptly to any requests for additional information or documentation. By cooperating with the IRS and providing clear and concise responses, you can expedite the resolution of the issue and minimize any potential penalties or consequences.


Receiving a CP2000 Notice of Underreported Income from the IRS can be unsettling, but it’s essential to address the issue promptly and effectively. By carefully reviewing the notice, gathering documentation, and preparing a detailed response, you can dispute the proposed adjustments and resolve the issue with the IRS. If you’re unsure how to respond or need assistance, don’t hesitate to seek help from a qualified tax professional. With proactive communication and cooperation, you can navigate the CP2000 Notice process and ensure compliance with IRS requirements while protecting your financial interests.



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