Statutory Notice of Deficiency
A notice of deficiency, also called a statutory notice of deficiency or 90-day letter, is a legal notice in which the IRS Commissioner determines the taxpayer’s tax deficiency. Tax laws require that the IRS issue a notice of deficiency before assessing additional income tax, estate tax, gift tax and certain excise taxes unless the taxpayer agrees to the additional assessment. The notice of deficiency is a legal determination that is presumptively correct and consists of the following:
- A letter explaining the purpose of the notice, the amount of the deficiency, and the taxpayer’s options
- A waiver to allow the taxpayer to agree to the additional tax liability
- A statement showing how the deficiency was computed
- An explanation of the adjustments
More from H&R Block
If you get a statutory notice of deficiency, you have 90 days to file a petition with the U.S. Tax Court to appeal taxes the IRS thinks you owe. You would receive this letter if you didn’t respond to a previous letter allowing you 30 days to appeal within the IRS, or if your appeal was unsuccessful.
If you don’t file a petition with the Tax Court by the deadline shown on the statutory notice of deficiency, the IRS will send you a bill for the tax, penalties, and interest shown on the notice.
Get help from an IRS expert
H&R Block’s experts can solve any IRS problem, no matter how complex.
The Statutory Notice of Deficiency is part of a series of notices sent by the IRS to propose additional tax, penalties and interest. Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.
Learn what the IRS is looking for during an audit, the steps you should take to prepare for an IRS audit, and when it's best to get expert help.
Get the facts about IRS mail audits from the tax experts at H&R Block. Learn how to respond and how long you can expect the audit to last.
The IRS grants four types of penalty relief, but many taxpayers don't ever ask. Learn how to request penalty abatement from the IRS.
Learn how the IRS matches your information to generate CP2000 notices, and how to handle one of these underreporter inquiries if the IRS contacts you.