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Stimulus check: Math error letter from IRS could result in paying back tax credits

If you received a letter from the IRS notifying you of a math error, you must respond to the letter and can not ignore it.

While some are confused and unsure of how to go forward with the letter, people are reminded that doing nothing is the worst option possible.

If you do not reach out to the IRS then the math error they decided on will become final and collections for the amount of money will begin.

Related: IRS: Have a child under age 13? Your household could get $8,000 in tax credits

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What to do if you received a letter from the IRS saying you have a math error

If you do not file a petition against the math error from the IRS within 60 days of notice, you lose the right to do so.

Over 5 million of the letters sent did not include the language about 60 days, so the IRS is resending some letters with that language to extend the amount of time you have to respond.

The IRS also made it clear there is no response required unless the letter states it’s necessary.

Related: Stimulus check: will social security recipients get a fourth check next week?


If your letter states you owe money though, you should respond.

Taxpayers can call 1-800-829-8374 to speak to a representative, but it’s worth noting that out of the 167 phone calls the IRS had this year, only 9% were answered.

The math error is in relation to the stimulus check. People that had claimed the recovery rebate were told they should not have done so and needed to repay it. The recovery rebate was for those that thought they were entitled to a stimulus check.

9 million math error letters have been sent in total, and 7.4 million are related to stimulus checks.

Related: Do I need to pay back my child tax credits to the IRS even if it’s untaxed?



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