Tax Dictionary – Automated Substitute for Return (ASFR) Unit

IRS Definition

ASFR is a key compliance program within the IRS, enforcing compliance for taxpayers who have not filed individual income tax returns, but owe a significant income tax liability. ASFR determines and assesses the correct tax liability by:

  • Securing valid income tax returns from taxpayers, or
  • Computing tax, penalties, and interest based on Information Reporting Program (IRP) information submitted by payers, combined with other internally available information.

More from H&R Block

The automated substitute for return unit is a division of the IRS that enforces the requirement to file tax returns. If you don’t file a return that you were supposed to, this unit can figure the amount of taxes you owe based on the information it has, and file a substitute for return (SFR) for you.

Even if the IRS files an SFR you can still file your return to replace the SFR, to take advantage of a better filing status and any exemptions or credits you may be entitled to.

The IRS typically reviews these replacement returns more carefully than returns that are filed by the due date. The ASFR unit will also process the tax returns you file to replace an SFR.

Learn how to address unfiled tax returns.

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