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IRS Code 290 on IRS Transcript – What You Need to Know

IRS Code 290 on IRS Transcript 2022-23

IRS Code 290IRS Code 290 indicates additional taxes were assessed for various reasons ranging from an audit’s results to a simple math error. When reviewing your tax transcript IRS Code 290 means an Additional Tax Assessed. However, you may not always owe additional taxes.  The code may show up even if no taxes are owed. If the amount is larger than $0, you should contact the IRS.  Or, you can wait for a letter to arrive detailing the adjustment to your return. To avoid interest and penalties, you should make a payment if you agree with the amount owed.

Additional taxes may be payable for a variety of reasons.  For example, the results of an audit or inaccurate calculations on your return. Occasionally, the IRS will hold an account for review and then remove the hold with no further tax charged.  Nevertheless, you will still see IRS Code 290 on your transcript, but it will reflect a $0 assessment. In other words, a Code 290 with a $0 means that the IRS reviewed your return but assessed no additional tax. Unless you check the status of your return using the Where’s My Refund portal, you may not even be aware there was a review.

IRS Code 290 – According to IRS Section 8 Master File Codes

Additional tax as a result of an adjustment to a module which contains a TC 150 transaction. TC 290 with zero amount or TC 29X with a Priority Code 1 will post to a —L freeze module. Generates assessment of interest if applicable (TC 196). Releases the following freezes: O—Reactivated Account, —A Duplicate Return, —K Refund Hold, W—470 hold, — R 570 hold, —F Advanced Payment, —X Manual Refund, P 841/720, —G Math Error, —J Math Error/TDA, R— RPS, B— Subsequent Payment, —Q WPT, 680 Hold (See Freeze Code Section for specific conditions). TC 290 with zero amount blocked 96X indicates a taxpayer penalty abatement request was considered and rejected. (Source:

Possible Reasons for IRS Code 290

There are various possible explanations for IRS Code 290 on your IRS transcript. Don’t panic.  Instead, wait until you receive a detailed explanation from the IRS in the form of a letter. You can choose how to reply once you receive the letter with the explanation.

  • IRS Audit – An audit is one of the most common reasons that additional taxes are being levied. During an audit, the IRS examines your income, deductions, and payments to check that the return was correctly calculated. If they discover an error, they will amend the return and charge you the extra tax if it applies.
  • Other Adjustments – Automated systems review many returns. The computer checks the information on your tax return to that provided by your employer and other financial institutions. If you failed to declare all of your income, the IRS will revise your return.  In that case, The IRS is required to give you a notice explaining how the new return was computed.
  • A Hold Has Been Lifted – If the sum displayed next to Code 290 is $0, then any hold on your account has been released.  Moreover, no extra cash is owed on the return. You might not realize your return was even being reviewed until you see Code 290 on your IRS transcript. The IRS does not issue notices when no changes are found during a review.

Resolving IRS Code 290

The IRS will send you a letter detailing the adjustments they make.  The notice is sent once the audit is completed if additional taxes have been imposed. If you disagree with the assessment amount, you can write an explanation of why the modification is incorrect. Your written correspondence must be mailed or faxed to the IRS processing center listed in the notice they send.  Alternatively, you can deliver your written response in person to an IRS office.

How to Know When Code 290 is Resolved

The IRS audit is complete after the IRS Code 290 appears on your account. If you agree with the assessment, there is no need to take any more action to address Code 290. Likewise, no action is required if a $0 assessment shows next to IRS Code 290.

What Does the Amount on Code 290 Line Mean?

The amount on the Code 290 line is the additional tax levied on your account. The IRS will issue you a bill with a due date for the additional taxes you owe. If you agree to the adjustment, you should pay your taxes as quickly as possible.  This is to avoid additional fines and interest. As stated above, no action is required if a $0 assessment shows next to IRS Code 290.

What Does the Date on Code 290 Line Mean?

The date next to Code 290 indicates the date the IRS charged the overdue tax. However, the interest levied on the balance due will be determined as of the return’s original due date. As a result, interest charges could begin earlier than the date the IRS completes its examination.

What if the IRS Assessment is Wrong

Taxpayers will have the ability to challenge any IRS adjustments. If the taxpayer wins their appeal, the IRS will pay them any owed refund at a later date. In certain instances, unsatisfied taxpayers can also call the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) for assistance.  This independent government service can help in resolving or claiming hardship relief. However, depending on the backlog, TAS assistance may take some time as it prioritizes true hardship instances.  For example, imminent eviction or pressing medical circumstances.

Your Appeal Rights

The IRS will send you a report and/or letter that will explain the proposed adjustments or proposed or taken collection action. The correspondence also tells you of your right generally to request a conference with an Appeals or Settlement Officer, as well as how to make your request for a conference. In addition to examination adjustments, many other things can be appealed, such as penalties, interest, trust fund recovery penalties, liens, levies, and offers in compromise. If you request an Appeals conference, be prepared to support your position with records and documentation. Appeals conferences are informal meetings. You may represent yourself or have an attorney, accountant, or other individual authorized to practice before the IRS represent you. If you don’t reach an agreement with the Appeals or Settlement Officer or you don’t wish to appeal within the IRS, you may appeal certain actions through the courts. (Source:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my return being audited or reviewed?

The IRS accepts most returns as submitted.  However, a small proportion of returns are chosen for closer investigation. Some income returns are examined to ensure that the income, expenses, and credits recorded on the return are correct. The IRS chooses tax returns for review by a variety of approaches.  This may include random sampling and computerized screening.  The IRS also compares information related to the return, such as W-2 and 1099 forms. The fact that your tax return was chosen for scrutiny could be entirely random.  It does not necessarily imply that the IRS believes you committed an error or lied on your return. (Source:

What are the IRS audit codes?

Potential audit codes are among the more alarming IRS designations.  Potential audits are associated with IRS Transaction Codes 420 (TC 420 – Examination Indicator) and 424 (TC 424 – Examination Request Indicator).  Once your return has been processed via the IRS’s initial system processing, you should notice these codes on your tax transcript under the Explanation of Transactions section. (Source:

Up Next: IRS Notice 1450 – What You Need To Know

IRS Notice 1450IRS notice 1450 provides instructions on how to request a Certificate of Release for a Federal Tax Lien once you have satisfied the balance due. Notice 1450 outlines the procedures for releasing a federal tax lien. It first instructs you on how to obtain a payoff amount of your past-due tax balance.  Once paid, it permits you to have the lien erased. The following section of IRS 1450 discusses how to obtain a copy of your Certificate of Release.  This is the paperwork proving that the tax lien has been eliminated. Finally, IRS notice 1450 explains what to do if the IRS has not released the lien within 30 days after you paid off the tax bill.

If you receive this letter, it means the IRS has placed a lien on some of your property. The instructions for requesting a Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien are contained in IRS Notice 1450. To acquire your Certificate of Release, you need to carefully read the information and follow the instructions.  Dealing with federal tax debt can be an extremely frustrating and difficult process. It requires that you pay off all your outstanding debt or successfully negotiate payment terms suitable to both parties.  At that point, you can request a Certificate of Release that removes the tax liens on your property.

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