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IRS Adds New Tech to Balance-Due Notices

IRS Adds New Tech to Balance-Due Notices

It’s a first for the Internal Revenue Service. The agency is adding barcode technology to the printed notices that are sent to millions of taxpayers that let them know they owe Uncle Sam money.

The notices—known as CP14 and CP14 IA notices—inform taxpayers they owe money on unpaid taxes and what their payment options are. These letters now include QR barcodes to help taxpayers to go directly to IRS.gov and securely access their account, set up a payment plan or contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

The QR codes will start appearing on the notices this month.

Taxpayers need only to scan the QR code on the notice to give them the direct access to information needed to resolve their account balance online—without the need to directly contact the IRS.

"These codes will give taxpayers immediate access to the most important information for them to pay their balances, set up payment agreements or reach out for help," said Darren Guillot, the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Deputy Commissioner for Collection and Operations Support. "We understand there's a lot of information on the web, and we want to give taxpayers more secure tools that can more easily help them resolve their tax situations."

In most years, the IRS sends some 8 million CP14 notices to taxpayers. They are the first legal notice taxpayers get alerting them there’s a balance due. Adding a QR code to the notice gives taxpayers an up-front option for resolution.

"This will help make the entire process easier for taxpayers," Guillot said.

If this effort proves successful, the IRS says it will consider adding QR codes to other balance-due notices in the future.


Bob Williams

Forget genes; I’ve got words in my DNA. Communication has been part of who I am nearly all my life. From a long career in radio news to another one in newspapers – and a University of Georgia journalism degree sandwiched between the two – language has been my life. I’ve also been fortunate to have learned the tax business from the ground up here at Drake, starting with 1040.com online forms some years ago before moving on to work on the Web. In all things tax-ish, we aim to give you tools you can use.