What’s a Statutory Notice of Deficiency – Notice 3219?

This IRS sends a Notice 3219 via Certified Mail to a taxpayer’s Last Known Address. The purpose of this letter is to inform you about a final determination of a tax liability for a timeframe (usually a specific tax-year but can be multiple years).  This letter is sent only when there is a deficiency in income tax plus related penalties and interest paid vs assessed. The IRS typically generates this a Notice 3219 after a review of audit actions, review of correspondence from a taxpayer, or information obtained by interview with a Revenue Officer or Filed Officer, and any final or amended tax returns. In cases when a tax return has not been filed by the taxpayer, this letter may be the result of a Substitute for Return, also known as an “SFR.” A notice of deficiency always increases your tax liability, never reduces it.

This statutory notice of deficiency is sometimes referred to as just a Deficiency Notice or a  90-day letter because it legally provides the recipient 90 days to file a Petition in the United States Tax Court to dispute the deficiency. Failing to file a petition during the 90-day period window will allow the IRS to memorialize and assess the stated deficiency against you.

If you have received a Statutory Notice of Deficiency it’s time to take action and probably time to talk to a licensed tax professional about your next step.