IRS lets taxpayers and tax pros upload documents to respond to notices

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The Internal Revenue Service introduced a new option Thursday allowing taxpayers and tax professionals who receive nine types of notices asking them to send information to the IRS with the ability to submit their documentation online through rather than on paper.

The new options will enable taxpayers or their tax representative to electronically upload documents through a secure tool, saving them time versus waiting for them to arrive by mail, so they can resolve their tax issues more quickly.

The move comes as the IRS continues to work through a backlog of unprocessed paper tax returns and correspondence that piled up since the pandemic. The IRS had millions of unprocessed tax returns last year, but has reportedly made progress on reducing that backlog significantly. Last month, the IRS opened an online portal where taxpayers could file their 1099 forms for free (see story).

IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Natalia Bratslavsky/Adobe

Now it is offering a similar option for tax notices, starting with nine notices that will initially be available. The IRS estimated that potentially could help more than 500,000 taxpayers each year who receive such notices, which include military personnel serving in combat zone areas and recipients of important credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

Taxpayers who receive one of the following notices with the link and access code can opt to upload their documents:

  • CP04, relating to combat zone status.
  • CP05A, information request related to a refund.
  • CP06 and CP06A, relating to the Premium Tax Credit.
  • CP08, relating to the Child Tax Credit.
  • CP09, relating to claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • CP75, relating to the EITC.
  • CP75a, relating to the EITC.
  • CP75d, relating to the EITC and other credits.

"This capability is another step forward by the IRS to help taxpayers and improve service," said IRS acting commissioner Doug O'Donnell in a statement Thursday. "This provides immediate benefits to taxpayers, who have nearly instant confirmation that documents were received by the IRS. In turn, this will dramatically speed up the resolution of issues by removing a time-consuming step in the process. This means people can have their issues resolved much faster, including getting refunds to affected taxpayers faster. We will continue to look at improvements like this as we work to transform the IRS following passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year."
On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing with Daniel Werfel, who has been nominated as the next IRS commissioner (see story). He promised to reduce the paper returns backlog by using more up-to-date technology, including scanners. "There are technologies emerging that can potentially rapidly scan them and do so in a way that creates machine-readable content that would allow that backlog to be reduced quicker," he said. 

Taxpayers receiving the notices will be able to respond securely to the IRS online, regardless of whether they have an IRS Online Account.

The IRS's technology specialists have been working for several years on the latest tool. They originally developed a prototype for the Document Upload Tool in 2021. Since then, the IRS has been testing this feature on a limited number of exam-related notices, and 38% of the responses to these notices have used the agency's secure electronic communications rather than traditional mail.

The notices will now include language telling the taxpayer to, "Send us your documents using the Documentation Upload Tool within 30 days from the date of this notice." It includes the link and a unique access code.

  • The taxpayer can open the link in any browser and then enter their unique code, first and last name and Social Security, Individual Taxpayer Identification or Employee Identification number.
  • Taxpayers can then securely upload scans, photos or digital copies of documents (maximum of 15MB per file, up to 40 files).
  • Taxpayers will receive a confirmation that the IRS received their documents, and the IRS employee assigned the case can manage the transmitted documents.

In the future, the IRS intends to expand the capability to dozens of other notices as well as offer digital correspondence on other kinds of taxpayer interactions. During live interactions such as phone calls with taxpayers, IRS employees will be able to give them access to the upload tool by providing the link and a unique access code.
For more information, see the fact sheet Resolving cases with secure digital correspondence for taxpayers on

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