Why Is IRS Saying My Information Doesn’t Match?

Receiving a notice from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stating that your information doesn’t match can be a cause for concern and confusion. This notification typically occurs when there is a discrepancy between the information you provided on your tax return and the data the IRS has on file. Here are some possible reasons why the IRS may be saying your information doesn’t match:

1. Incorrect or Incomplete Information: One common reason for a mismatch is entering incorrect or incomplete information on your tax return, such as a misspelled name, incorrect Social Security number, or incorrect address. Even a small error like this can trigger a mismatch.

2. Employer Reporting Errors: Employers are required to report your income to the IRS using Form W-2. If your employer made an error while reporting your income, it could result in a mismatch with the information you provided on your tax return.

3. Inaccurate Income Reporting: If you receive income from multiple sources, it’s crucial to accurately report all of it. Failing to include all income on your tax return can lead to a mismatch with the IRS’s records.

4. Filing Status Discrepancies: Your filing status, such as single, married filing jointly, or head of household, must match the IRS’s records. If there is a discrepancy, it may trigger a notice.

5. Dependent Errors: If you claim dependents on your tax return, their information, such as Social Security numbers, must match the IRS’s records. Mismatches in dependent information can also lead to a notice.

6. Identity Theft: In some cases, receiving a notice about mismatched information could be an indication of identity theft. Fraudsters may use your Social Security number or other personal information to file a fraudulent tax return, resulting in a mismatch with your legitimate return.

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7. Data Entry Mistakes: While processing your tax return, the IRS may make data entry errors that result in a mismatch. These errors are relatively rare but can occur.

8. Timing Issues: Sometimes, the IRS may send a notice about a mismatch simply because the information hasn’t been updated in their system yet. This can happen if you recently made changes, such as updating your address or correcting a Social Security number.


1. What should I do if I receive a notice about mismatched information?
If you receive a notice from the IRS stating that your information doesn’t match, carefully review the notice and compare it with the information on your tax return. If you find an error, you may need to file an amended return. If the notice is due to identity theft, follow the instructions provided by the IRS to report the issue.

2. How long do I have to respond to a notice about mismatched information?
The IRS typically provides a deadline for responding to their notice. It is crucial to adhere to the given timeline to avoid further complications. The notice will provide instructions on how to respond and the deadline for doing so.

3. Can I call the IRS to resolve the mismatch issue?
Yes, you can contact the IRS using the phone number provided on the notice. Be prepared to provide all relevant information and have your tax return and supporting documents available for reference.

4. What if I can’t afford to pay the additional taxes due to the mismatch?
If the mismatch leads to additional taxes owed, you may be eligible for payment options, such as installment agreements or offers in compromise. Contact the IRS to discuss your situation and explore the available options.

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5. How long does it take to resolve a mismatch issue?
The time it takes to resolve a mismatch issue can vary depending on the complexity of the situation. It’s best to respond to the notice promptly and provide any requested documentation to expedite the resolution.

6. What if I disagree with the IRS’s findings?
If you believe the IRS’s findings are incorrect, you can respond to the notice and provide supporting documentation to substantiate your position. If necessary, you may need to appeal the IRS’s decision.

7. How can I prevent future mismatch issues?
Double-checking your tax return for accuracy, ensuring all income is reported correctly, and verifying dependent information can help prevent future mismatch issues. Keeping your personal information secure and monitoring your tax accounts for any suspicious activity can also be beneficial.

8. Can I seek professional help to resolve a mismatch issue?
If you are unsure how to handle a mismatch issue or if it becomes complex, seeking assistance from a tax professional, such as a certified public accountant (CPA) or enrolled agent, can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the resolution process.

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