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IRS mistakenly sends out letter claiming people never filed 2019 taxes

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 7:58 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Tax season is upon us, and while the past year has been anything but ordinary, so has the process for filing tax returns.

The Internal Revenue Services released a statement Thursday that earlier this month, 260,000 people received a CP59 stating there was no record of 2019 tax return.

CP59 forms are issued annually to help identify who has not filed. Because of the pandemic, last year’s tax season was extended and the IRS has not yet finished filing taxes from the previous year.

The notices should not have been sent out, and some people who received the notice may have refiled a return that is still being processed.

According to Steve Sandifer, an accountant from Astorg and Jones in Parkersburg, he says the IRS’s mistake could have been caused by a computer error.

“Sometimes these are processed in a computer and they have an automatic copied date. The computer knows when to send out a letter every so often. Often time’s letters will go out even if the payment has been received. Some things will cross in the mail, and until someone literally goes in and changes the computer program, the computer doesn’t know anything but to send out the notices,” Sandifer said.

Scammers have become a bigger issue in recent years around this time. Sandifer says that some scammers have gotten very good at mimicking the IRS, but gives advice as to what to look for if the IRS really is trying to get a hold of you.

“The IRS will never contact you by email. They will never leave a message on your answering machine or threaten you with a telephone call. If you receive any of those ignore them,” Sandifer said.

If you have filed your tax return and received this notice, you can disregard the message. If you have not yet filed your taxes, you must do so.

Currently lawmakers are pushing for the IRS to extend the tax filing season again due to the quick turnaround of tax seasons, and so that all 2019 tax returns can be finished filing.

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