Do This When Paying Your Taxes Online to Avoid IRS Notices

Last tax season we saw an influx of “balance due” IRS CP14 notices. In many of these cases, the taxes had already been paid online at Receiving inaccurate notices from the IRS is frustrating for both you the taxpayers and for us the tax professionals.

The IRS CP14 issue occurs when married filing jointly taxpayers do not follow the IRS’s unwritten rule. The unwritten rule is, when filing jointly, all payments for a balance due must be made in the name and Social Security number of the primary taxpayer. The primary taxpayer is the taxpayer listed first on the return, with the secondary (or spouse) taxpayer listed second.

The IRS is aware of this issue and published a statement on July 27, 2022, stating that they were researching the issue and would provide an update as soon as possible. We have yet to see an update. As such, we fear that we may see a recurrence of incorrect notices this tax season. To avoid receiving a CP14 notice this summer, we recommend that all balance due (and estimated tax payments) be made in the name and Social Security number of the primary taxpayer. 

If you are still mailing checks to the IRS, we encourage you to try one of the online payment options available at The IRS is still inundated with backlogs of mail, so paying online will ensure that your payment is received and posted to your account in a timely fashion. Paying online is fast, easy, and secure, and you can pay from your bank account, debit card, credit card, or digital wallet.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to make the payment in the primary taxpayer’s Social Security number if you are filing jointly to avoid receiving an erroneous balance due notice from the IRS down the road.