IRS Notice 1444: What It Is and What It Means

an example of an IRS Notice 1444

As the COVID 19 pandemic continues to ravage the world economy, different governments have taken different measures to aid their citizens. Here in the United States, the federal government passed a raft of measures, key among them sending stimulus checks to deserving individuals to help cushion them against the effects of the pandemic. These added a layer of complexity to your tax returns filing as it comes with a host of other documents and vocabularies such as the IRS Notice 1444.

 

What does a Notice 1444 from the IRS mean?

Did you receive any of the three Economic Impact Payments (aka stimulus money)? If you did, then you probably received a letter from the IRS confirming the amount sent to you. This is what is officially referred to as “Notice 1444” by the IRS. This notice is from the IRS and therefore looks more like a letter than the traditional IRS notices you are accustomed to.

The IRS mailed all recipients of the coronavirus stimulus checks a copy of their Notice 1444. This was done within 15 days after the Stimulus checks were sent out for the first payments, while the second and third took a little longer as the law gave the IRS more time to send the Notices out. This IRS notice provides you with important information such as the amount you received, how the money was sent to you, and information on how to report any amount not received.

Notice 1444 was sent to the recipients’ address on IRS records. This means that if you changed addresses before your IRS letter arrived you should check at your last address.

If you are unable to trace your Notice 1444 for the same reason, then you should check your IRS accounts transcripts you will find the information there.

Remember, Notice 1444 is only an informational letter letting you know the amount that was sent to you and by what means. You are not required to respond to it. Once you receive your Notice 1444 file it safely with your other tax returns filing records as recommended by the IRS.

 

Types of IRS Notice 1444

Did you receive more than one IRS letter confirming your economic impact payments? If this is the case, then you probably received more than one payment. The government sent out three different economic impact payments. For each payment, the government also sent out a notice 1444 to all the recipients. These notices are as follows:

IRS Notice 1444

This is the notice the IRS mailed recipients of the first economic impact payment made in 2020. This notice was sent out within 15 days after the checks were mailed to recipients. If the IRS made corrections to your payment or you received more than one payment during this round, then you probably also received more than one notice 1444 during this round. This should not worry you as the notice was sent out with each payment and was designed to give you information regarding the payment made.

IRS Notice 1444-A

This notice was sent out to individuals who legally do not file federal income tax returns but may have qualified for the first stimulus payments. If you received this notice, then you were required to claim your payment as it was not sent out with the rest. The stimulus payments were designed to help Americans in need during the pandemic, so this means that even though you may legally be exempted from filing tax returns you still could qualify for the payments. For these reasons, the IRS made sure that every qualified American was made aware of the payment by sending the Notice 1444-A.

IRS Notice 1444-B

This IRS notice was sent out by the IRS to confirm the payment of the second stimulus checks. If you received an economic impact check during the second round of payment, then you also received this notice. It contained the same information as the other 1444 Notices only that it was sent for during the second round of payment. This notice was also sent out much later than the first one as the law authorizing the payments gave the IRS more time to process the Notices. This notice was only sent to those who were considered for the second round of pandemic payments. If you did not receive the second stimulus payments, then you should not expect this notice.

IRS Notice 1444-C

This Notice is for the third economic impact payment made in 2021. While this notice contains the same information as the others, it is important to remember that it was made in a different fiscal year.

You should to hold onto this notice and keep it with the rest of your 2021 tax returns filing records. If you file returns, you have already used the information on the first two for filing your 2020 returns, however, you are yet to file your 2021 returns. This makes keeping this notice safe even more important as the IRS can change rules for filing returns as it often does.

 

Why is the IRS Notice 1444 Important?

The IRS Notice 1444 was mailed to you and other recipients of the stimulus payments to serve two main purposes: To confirm all the details of the payment made to you and as a security to ensure that you know the payment was sent your way.

This means that if you received both your stimulus check and your IRS letter you should review the notice to confirm that the details are the same as the stimulus check received. This is important not just for filing your returns but also to make claims if there are errors in your payment.

Some people reported that they did not receive their stimulus payment. This could be because either the stimulus check was stolen, or money was sent to the wrong bank accounts. So, if you received a notice but not the money, then you should contact the IRS for help. The notice has a number to call in case of such a problem. In case you received the payment but did not get your notice then you can get all the information on the notice on the IRS website.

The third importance of the IRS Notice 1444 is tax preparation. The pandemic impact payments were made based on the 2019 tax returns for most people and some of their 2018 tax returns. What this means is that your income levels, number of dependents, and filing status could have changed significantly in 2020 meaning that you received less money than you would have received.

For example, take consider Jacky and Phil who got married in December 2018. In 2019 they had an adjustable gross income of less than $150,000 and they had no children at the time. Based on this information on their 2019 tax returns the IRS sends them a stimulus check of $2400. But in 2020 they had a baby. When doing their 2020 returns they discovered that they should have received $2900 ($2400+$500) as they had a new dependent that was not captured in IRS records. They can now claim the $500 as a recovery rebate credit on their 2020 tax returns.

As you can see the Notice 1444 you received is very important especially if for one reason or the other you feel that you received less money than you should have. It is an important document to use when claiming the missing amount from the IRS.

Keeping this notice for filing federal income tax returns is thus very important.

 

What if you did not receive an IRS Notice 1444?

The IRS Notice 1444 is designed to help you verify the stimulus payment amount that was sent to you.

This means that all is not lost if for one reason or the other you did not get your Notice 1444 or somehow you lost yours. You can still get the information on the IRS website. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to the IRS website which is found at www.irs.gov.
  2. Log into your account.
  3. Find and click the Tax Record tab.
  4. Follow the onscreen steps to request your latest tax transcripts. This will contain your stimulus payment information.

Remember that for your federal income tax returns filing you must have all the records of the income you received. It is therefore important to make sure that you confirm that you received all the money that is due to you and all the related documentation. In a few cases, some individuals received neither their stimulus payment checks nor their IRS Notice 1444.

If you feel that you qualified for the stimulus checks but received nothing, then make sure to check your IRS tax transcripts for any information regarding the payments. In addition, if you have any questions regarding the stimulus payment or your IRS Notice 1444 remember to contact the IRS. It pays to be proactive when handling your federal income tax returns records and information because failure to find out important information can result in tax audits and expensive tax penalties.

 

 

IRS Notices: What They Mean and What You Should Do

couple receives IRS notice

If you have received a notice from the IRS, don’t panic. Yes, it can derail your plans and throw you off balance both in your personal and business life. However, in most cases, there are solutions to help make the IRS offer you a reasonable way out of the unwanted situation you have found yourself in and a good deal. This means, of course, that you will have to settle. Here are some details about the four most common notices the IRS sends, as well as ways to tackle them so you can heave a sigh of relief.

 

What Are IRS Notices?

They are letters the IRS sends you when they think you owe them taxes. There is a specific sequence followed when it comes to the types of letters you receive. Each one proposes interest, penalties, and taxes the Internal Revenue Service says you owe per tax period and each has its own significance.

 

Notice of Deficiency – What is it?

Also referred to as ticket-to-Tax Court, 90-day letter, letter 531, SNOD, CP3219A or Statutory Notice of Deficiency, the Notice of Deficiency is sent due to under-reporting income and the underpayment of tax. You usually receive it about 6 months after filing via certified mail from the IRS. Nevertheless, it may take up to 3 years after filing before you get one.

This first notice gives you significant appeal rights. If you disagree with the IRS, you have 90 days to petition to the U.S. Tax Court (after getting the Notice of Deficiency). This, automatically, gives you extra appeal rights as your case goes to the IRS Office of Appeals. Then, you might be able to skip going to Tax Court and work something out with the IRS.

Or, you could contact your local Taxpayer Advocate Service office and let them assist you in case you have received a Notice of Deficiency in error or feel that your taxpayer rights have been violated. This is also a good option if your financial situation has worsened, causing you financial hardship after getting the Notice of Deficiency or if you have tried to speak with the IRS repeatedly and have not received a response from them. However, this is where getting help from professional tax experts could make a big difference in the outcome.

What You Should Do

First of all, act quickly because you only have 90 days to do whatever needs to be done. After the 90-day deadline has passed, you won’t be getting any extensions. Remember that during this 90-day period, the IRS can NOT collect your taxes. Now, if you must appeal an IRS decision, do consider filing a petition with the Tax Court. Otherwise, the IRS will send you a bill and charge you the taxes.

Truth be told, it is quite likely for taxpayers receiving a Notice of Deficiency to miss the 90-day window or fail to make any kind of arrangements with the IRS. This always results in the IRS initiating their collection procedure through tax levies, tax liens, and other tools. For that reason, we firmly recommend contacting Innovative Tax Relief and requesting a free tax consultation for help, advice, and protection. You may even have options to reduce Notice of Deficiency-related penalties or even remove them in their entirety.

 

Notice of Intent – What is it?

The IRS will send you a Notice of Intent when you have not paid a balance. This type of letter informs you that the IRS will start the process to collect to satisfy your tax debt. This letter may also represent the IRS’s intent to seize your property (levy) if you don’t pay or set up a payment arrangement. Most of the time, a Notice of Intent is sent when you have missed at least three payments in a row or failed to file on time. This is why it is critical that you stay current with filling your taxes. In the opposite case, you are regarded as in default even if you have paid all of the arranged payments. Then, the IRS considers you as an agreement breaker and sends you into Collections. This means that they will garnish your wages. Whether they continue accepting your payments or not is up to them, though

When taxpayers receive a Notice of Intent, they usually panic. However, in reality, a Notice of Intent is just a heads up from the IRS that they are about to start the process to collect if you do not try to set up a payment arrangement or pay. Nevertheless, don’t take it lightly because you are heading down the path to a levy. So, it is best to take some sort of action pronto before it is too late.

Beware, though, at this point, as there are two different types of Notices, the (1) Notice of Intent to Levy and the (2) Final Notice of Intent to Levy. The second one is the last notice the IRS will send you before they seize your assets, and gives the Service the legal right to do so. This means that you have very little time before the Internal Revenue Services can levy your bank account. On some rare occasions, the IRS will only issue a Final Notice of Intent to Levy. If you find yourself in this situation, seek professional assistance immediately because a levy is about to happen.

What You Should Do

First of all, know your rights. The IRS is obliged by law to give taxpayers proper written notice before they do anything with your bank account (i.e., levy the account), per the Internal Revenue Code Section 6330. That notice should definitely include details about your right to appeal the imminent collection action within a month’s time (30 days). In the majority of cases, the Notice of Intent and the Final Notice of Intent are around 4-5 months apart, which means you have more than 4 months to prepare for the Final Notice of Intent.

Nevertheless, if you receive any of these letters, please have a tax professional handle your case. We have seen too many taxpayers disclosing information that hurt them (or not disclosing the right details). So, their attempt to manage their own case actually backfired.

 

Notice of Default – What is it?

A Notice of Default (aka Notice of Demand or CP523) is sent when you have been in an agreement with the IRS and has defaulted. It informs you that you have missed several payments to a creditor or lender (normally more than three in a row). You may also receive a Notice of Default if you did not file on time from that point forward when you set up the payment agreement.

When you have reached the point of defaulting payments and receiving a Notice of Default, the IRS stops accepting your payments. Even worse, they continue accepting your payment and, at the same time, send you into Collections AND garnish your wages because you broke the agreement. It should also be noted that the IRS may terminate your installment agreement without letting you know first if the Secretary (or an authorized representative) considers the collection of the due tax is in jeopardy.

What You Should Do

Respond to it within 90 days of receiving the notice so the IRS does not file a federal tax lien (or a levy) that will enable them to seize your assets. So, ensure you (or your tax professional) contact the IRS to reinstate your payment plan. It is also paramount that you make a payment before the payment deadline or termination date listed on the Notice of Default – you might be able to get your installment plan back in good standing again. You may need to provide some information about your assets, though, in this case or even be asked to fill out a new Installment Agreement (Form 433-D).

You should also contact the IRS if you believe that they have terminated your payment agreement by mistake or if you disagree with the due amount. You will find all contact details in the letter.

 

Notice of Garnishment – What is it?

The IRS is free to garnish your wages if you have tax debt and may even do so without getting a judgment first. It should be noted that the IRS is the only creditor that has this kind of power – all other types of creditors need a court ruling first. Plus, the sum any other regular collector takes is a fraction of what the IRS can take. Fortunately, the IRS provides several different options for you to repay your tax debt and skip the unwanted wage garnishment process.

When it comes to the max sum creditors (judgment creditors and others) can take from your wages, these are defined by federal and state laws. However, the tax code enables the IRS to take as much as it can and leave you with the necessary amount you need (per the tax code) to pay for your basic living essentials. As for the sum you can keep (protected wage), it is directly related to the number of exemptions you claim for tax purposes. For instance, a married individual filing jointly (paid monthly) that claims two exemptions can keep $1,625. A single individual claiming five exemptions (gets paid weekly) is allowed to keep slightly less than $480. the IRS garnishes anything above these sums.

What Should You Do

Since the IRS sends out several notices before garnishing your wages, once garnishment begins your options are limited. You can either pay off the tax debt, prove to the IRS that the garnishment is creating a financial hardship for you and attempt to get it reduced, or file an Offer in Compromise.

And, if you are wondering whether you could plead with your employer to get your wages back, the answer is no. Since there is a court order to garnish your salary, they won’t risk facing a penalty of law for not abiding by it. It is not up to them, and it is not their choice – just something they are obliged to do.

Also, don’t think that quitting your current job and getting a new one will save you from having your wage garnished. The court order follows you wherever you go, including your new position. Finally, disputing the Notice of Garnishment won’t get you anywhere if you truly owe the tax debt. You will only waste money and time that you could spend elsewhere (i.e., to reduce or get rid of your debt).

 

If You’ve Received a Notice From the IRS, We Can Help

No matter the situation you are facing, know that there are ways out and solutions to consider. Just contact the tax relief experts at Innovative Tax Relief and ask for a free consultation. Let’s find the best way out of these stressful circumstances, always with your best financial interest in mind.