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The CP 54 series of notices is issued to alert the taxpayer that:

  • there is a problem with name and identifying number on the tax return or the estimates paid, or 
  • the IRS is holding a refund for a prior year because the name and Social Security Number (SSN) or IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on the recipient's tax return didn't match information in IRS records or records provided by the Social Security Administration.

This notice is now only applicable to paper filed returns, as the IRS has Name and Identification number verification in place for electronically filed returns.

Sections of the Notice:

  • Header Section
    This area contains the Notice Number, the notice date, your Social Security Number and the IRS contact number.
  • Explanation Section
    The explanation section will contain the name and identifying number that does not match IRS records provided by the Social Security Administration. The notice explains the situations that can cause a mismatch, such as transposition of numbers, misspelling, and change of name.
  • Response Section
    If there is a difference and the number does not match what is on your Social Security card provide the correct number on the enclosed return document. If the name is different than that on record provide copies of the marriage certificate or court records clearly showing a legal name change.
    If there is no difference between your most recent Social Security card and the name and number on the notice contact the Social Security Administration to insure their records are correct.


Sample CP 54B:
Sample CP 54E:
Sample CP 54G: Sample CP 54Q:


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