So my wife got a CP59, which is a complaint from the IRS that she did not file her taxes for 2017. That year, as in years previous, we filed jointly and electronically. The year previous we had a new accountant. We did file late, but I think we do that every year with the appropriate extension.

What is weird is that I did not received a similar notice.

So my question is:

Is this a common/normal thing?

Is there something that we did "wrong" that triggered this event?

From the "frustration with the IRS" file, we filed electronically, and can do all kinds of things electronically, but we have to fill out form 15103 and mail it in?

For the record, the IRS on this Q&A suggests that they never make a mistake in this matter and basically tells you to file your taxes.

  • I don’t know the answer to your questions, but I see that Form 15103 has an option for “I have already filed my tax return” and instructs you to send in a copy of the return. I’ve never filed electronically; do you even have some sort of copy or verification that you could mail in? That is bizarre that you filed jointly, but she’s the only one with the notice. Maybe yours is on its way.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 12:59
  • 1
    You’ve probably already seen this, but here it is for future readers: Understanding Your CP59 Notice. It recommends calling if you disagree with the notice.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 13:01
  • 2
    So the tax return wasn't rejected, it filed successfully and you both filed jointly? My thought is there's a clerical error somewhere that they can't match your wife's name, SSN or some other identifier(s) to her.
    – CKM
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 13:02
  • 1
    If being on the phone sounds like torture (which I don't disagree with), then simply fill out 15103 and send it in. I'm not sure what the question is.
    – prl
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 23:28
  • 4
    You have an accountant. Call them; they're the pro, and dealing with the IRS when they mess up is part of filing a return. Commented May 18, 2019 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


I was going to partly reassure you that IRS telephone service has recovered in the past few years (after bit hits from the 08-09 crash and the 11-12 explosion of tax id theft) -- but unfortunately TIGTA's filing season interim report (just out a few weeks ago) says as of March 1 it was back down to 'level of service' 55.6% (calls answered over net attempts) and 'speed of answer' 13 minutes. In a footnote, management blames the shutdown, which doesn't make much sense to me; I'll be interested to look at NTA's report next Jan., because they are usually more skeptical and explain in more detail. FWIW now that Tax Day is past, telephone service will probably improve some, but I don't know if it will be enough to please you.

For an online option you could try Get Transcript Online. They've tightened security after several serious hacking problems, and many people (including me) can't get in at all, but if you can, it can give you an Account Transcript or maybe better a Record of Account for that year. Assuming your SSN and name was first on the return and your wife's second (which IRS calls 'primary' and 'secondary', but don't let that go to your head) RoA should show significant details of your return as posted, the payments they credited/applied and refund sent if any, and any subsequent 'transactions' (mostly identified by arcane codes) that may have been involved in them issuing the notice.

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