IRS Letter 4464C: Why Is the IRS Reviewing My Return?
Letter 4464C means the IRS is holding your refund while the agency reviews your tax return. This letter is not an audit. You don't have to respond. But you can respond if you think there's an issue with your tax return.
Have you received this IRS letter? Wondering how long the review will take? Worried about what will happen? In most cases, once the review is complete, you should get your tax refund as usual, but there are exceptions. This guide looks at what happens when you receive Letter 4464C in different scenarios.
What Is Letter 4464C?
IRS Letter 4464C is called a Questionable Refund Hold letter. If you receive this letter, the IRS is holding your tax refund while it reviews your income tax return. The IRS may have randomly selected your return for review due to discrepancies in the computer system or suspected identity theft on your account.
If you receive this letter, you are not being audited. You are not being accused of anything wrong. The IRS is just taking a closer look at your tax return to verify its accuracy. Once the IRS completes the review, the agency will send your tax refund.
How to Respond to Letter 4464C
You don't need to respond to this letter. However, if you believe that you reported your income or withholding incorrectly, you can file an amended return. According to the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), this can speed up your refund.
Unfortunately, however, if there aren't any mistakes on your return, there's not much you can do when you receive this letter except wait. In this case, calling or sending in additional paperwork will not help to speed up the process.
What Is the IRS Reviewing?
If you receive this letter, the IRS is reviewing your income, income tax withholding, tax credits, and/or business income and expenses. In most cases, you don't need to provide any additional information, and unfortunately, all you can do is wait. However, if you find a mistake on your tax return after receiving this notice, then you can file an amended tax return.
How Long Does the Review Take?
Most 4464C reviews take up to 60 days. If you haven't heard back within two months, contact the IRS directly. You can also check on the status of your refund using "Where Is My Refund". This tool will update once the IRS sends the refund to your bank account.
Don't bother trying to call the IRS before the 60 days have passed. If you call 45 to 60 days after this letter has been sent, the IRS's employees will just tell you to call back after 60 days. If you call back after 60 days, the employee will initiate a search for your file, but generally, they won't be able to give you much info over the phone right away.
What If I Haven't Filed Yet?
If you receive IRS Letter 4464C and you haven't filed your tax return yet, contact the IRS immediately. This means that you may be the victim of tax identity theft. Someone may have filed a return in your name to collect a refund, and luckily, the IRS caught the potential issue before dispatching the refund.
Contact the IRS and let them know that you didn't file the return. They will walk you through the process of reporting the identity theft and securing your account from future attacks. Unfortunately, however, once you file your actual return, you may have to wait quite a while for your return. It takes about 240 days to resolve tax identity theft cases.
What if I Already Received My Refund?
If you received this letter after you've received you refund, you can usually disregard the letter. In fact, the IRS employee manuals tell employees to advise taxpayers to throw away the letter if they receive it after receiving their tax refunds.
However, to be on the safe side, you may want to call the IRS and make sure there are no issues. You certainly don't want to be in a situation where you spend a refund and then, the IRS decides that you owe a bill.
What if I Ignore This Letter?
Again, you don't have to respond to this letter. If you ignore the letter and the IRS determines that your return is correct, the agency will dispatch your tax refund as usual. If the agency sends your refund more than 45 days after you filed, the IRS will add interest to your payment.
If the IRS determines that there were mistakes or omissions on your return, the agency will make updates to your return. Then, it will send you another notice alerting you about the changes. At that point, you can dispute the changes or accept them. If you owe a tax bill, the IRS offers all kinds of payment and relief options to help you out.
Confusion About Letter 4464C
If you're confused about IRS Letter 4464C, you aren't the only one. After reviewing this letter, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) said that it lacked transparency and clarity. The TAS is an independent part of the IRS, devoted to taxpayer rights, and in 2021, the TAX advised the IRS to update the language on this letter.
The TAS told the IRS that the letter needed to be clearer about what was being reviewed on the taxpayer's return. The department also advised the IRS to let people know that they could speed up refund processing by submitting an amended return in case of errors.
FAQs About the 4464C Letter
Still have questions? Here is a look at some of the most common questions about this letter. If you have any questions that aren't covered, use TaxCure to find a tax pro to help you today.
Is a 4464C letter an audit?
No, the 4464C letter from the IRS is not an audit. If the IRS plans to audit your return, it will send you an audit notice. That said, if the IRS finds issues with your tax return during the 4464C review, it may decide to start an audit.
Does Letter 4464C come through certified or registered mail?
This letter does not come through certified or registered mail. The IRS sends this notice to your last known address, and if it gets returned to the agency as undeliverable, IRS correspondence procedures direct employees to destroy it.
Based on that direction, there is a chance that you may miss this letter if you have recently moved. If you've recently moved and haven't received your refund, check out the Where's My Refund tool or call the IRS.
How long does Letter 4464C take?
Typically, the IRS takes about 60 days to review tax returns after sending letter 4464C. You may receive a response sooner, but you shouldn't have to wait much longer than 60 days.
What does a letter about the IRS verifying accuracy mean?
If you receive a letter that says the IRS wants to verify the accuracy of your tax return, it means that the IRS has selected your return for review. This doesn't mean that the agency suspects you of any wrongdoing. It just means that your return was selected for review. Randomly reviewing returns helps the IRS maintain high overall accuracy levels.
What is Return Integrity Verification Ops?
The Integrity and Verification Operations Department is a part of the IRS that verifies the integrity of tax returns. This department hand-reviews selected returns before the IRS sends out the refunds. If the department spots issues, it may recommend an audit.
How long can the IRS hold my refund for review?
There is no limit to the amount of time that the IRS can hold a refund. However, the agency must pay you interest if it holds the refund past a certain point, and if the IRS doesn't send your refund within six months, you can take the issue to the U.S. District Court or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Usually, the IRS completes most reviews within 90 days.
How to Get Help Dealing With the IRS
Dealing with the IRS can be confusing and frustrating. Many taxpayers rely on their refunds. They use this cash infusion to get through the year, and without it, their finances can get pretty grim. If the IRS has notified you about a tax refund hold, you may have to wait for a while, but once the 60 days are up, you should follow up with the agency.
If you filed more than six months ago, you may want to have a tax attorney help you take the issue to court. Not sure what to do? Then, reach out for help today. Using TaxCure, you can search for experienced tax pros based in your local area. They can help you deal with IRS letters, lost tax refunds, and state tax issues.