IRS Tax Balance Due Notices Confuse California Taxpayers

IRS ‘balance due’ mailings were sent to Californians who don’t have to pay their taxes yet.

A California street with mountains in the background framed by palm trees for IRS balance due story
(Image credit: Getty Images)

IRS notices were recently sent to many California taxpayers indicating that balances due on their 2022 federal tax returns had to be paid in 21 days. The notices, however, were not entirely clear to some who received them. 

That’s because millions of Californians have an extension to file their 2022 taxes granted by the IRS due to severe weather that has occurred in the state.

IRS Apologizes for Confusing California Tax Notices

IRS Notice CP14 is used by the agency to notify taxpayers who have a balance due from their tax return. (The notices are legally required to be sent.) However, in this case, the Notice CP14 that was mailed to many California taxpayers indicated that they needed to pay that balance in 21 days. 

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That 21-day language is typical in a CP14 notice. But the letters caused some confusion and concern because as Kiplinger previously reported, most counties in California as well as taxpayers in several other states were granted an IRS tax deadline extension to file their 2022 federal tax returns due to severe weather impacts.

The IRS clarified Thursday, in a Tweet, that a tax deadline extension applies in most of California. 

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The agency also posted a similar statement on its website apologizing for the situation. 

“The IRS reassures California taxpayers that they continue to have an automatic extension until later this year to file and pay their taxes for those covered by disaster declarations in the state,” the IRS stated, adding that the notice “letters include a special insert that notes the payment date listed in the letter does not apply to those covered by a disaster declaration, and the disaster dates remain in effect. 

The statement goes on to say, "The IRS apologizes to taxpayers and tax professionals for any confusion as we continue to review the situation. Taxpayers receiving these letters do not need to call the IRS or their tax professional."

When Are Taxes Due in California? 

If you received a CP14 notice from the IRS and live or work in a designated IRS disaster area in California, you don’t have to call or contact the IRS about the notice. Of course, if you are unsure or have questions or concerns, or have received a different notice from the IRS, you should feel free to contact the agency or check with a trusted tax professional.

What you need to know now is:

  • The IRS twice extended the tax deadline for taxpayers in California directly impacted by natural disasters. The first extension was to May 31, and the most recent IRS tax deadline extension is to Oct. 16, 2023. 
  • That means that Californians directly impacted in designated disaster areas have about four more months to file their federal tax returns. 

For more information, including which California counties are designated IRS disaster areas, see Kiplinger’s reporting on the October tax due date: California’s 2023 tax deadline extension: what you need to know.

Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor,

As the senior tax editor at, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.