When the IRS officially places your return under review, you will receive a CP05 notice, and the processing of your refund will be delayed until the review is complete. According to the IRS website, a number of distinct factors can trigger the review, including the need to verify the following entries on your return:
- Income is not overstated or understated.
- Tax withholding amounts are correct.
- You have the right to claim the tax credits on your return.
- Social Security benefits withholding amounts are correct.
- Household help is accurately reported.
- Schedule C income is not overstated or understated.
There is no hard and fast way to determine why your return was selected for a review. According to IRS.gov, “returns [are selected] for examination using various methods which include random sampling, computerized screening, and comparison of information received by the IRS such as Forms W-2 and 1099.” If your return is selected for a review, it doesn’t necessarily indicate or suggest you made a mistake or deliberately misreported your information.
Upon receiving the CP05 notice, the IRS recommends you take the following steps if you have additional questions or concerns:
- Consult with your tax preparer to gain a better understanding of the notice.
- Call the toll-free number listed at the top of the notice to receive additional information.
- Call the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) hotline at 1-877-777-4778 if you believe your return has been selected in error due to the inadequate screening of IRS systems.
- Authorize a professional tax preparer or accountant to communicate with the IRS on your behalf by submitting Form 2848 (Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative).
The notice or letter may contain information in the notice like a Control Number, (that is associated with your case).
Each taxpayer will have their own Control Number because it is generated for the taxpayer on that notice or letter.
Also, the notices will not all be from the same Service Center so please do not give your fax number to someone else because if you fax it to the incorrect Service Center and fax number it will only cause a lengthy delay in your review. You are responsible to ensure that you fax or send your information to the correct location or fax number.
Also, one person can be reviewed for income, another for credits, another for identify verification, etc…
This will also result in someone’s review being faster than someone else’s.
It really depends on what & how much needs to be reviewed on the return.
Also, the reviews are being done through the Service Center in which your return is filed.
Kansas City, Fresno, Austin, and Ogden are the filing Service Centers. The other Service Centers do not process original tax returns.
The number of returns being reviewed & the workload & staffing can vary greatly depending on which Service Center your return is being reviewed in is also factoring into that time frame of how long it will take.
This also factors into why someone else will maybe get a refund before you & you filed before them.
Many things factor into all of this process.