DEFINITION of 'Deficiency'

Conceptually, the numerical difference between the amount of tax that a taxpayer or taxpaying entity reports on a tax return and the amount that the IRS determines is actually owed. The term only applies to shortfalls and not to surpluses. Taxpayers are notified of deficiencies via deficiency letters.

BREAKING DOWN 'Deficiency'

Deficiencies can easily become back taxes if prompt action is not taken by taxpayers. A notice of deficiency does not automatically equate to an audit or disciplinary action, but it should be taken seriously. Taxpayers can use the contact information provided on the deficiency letter to contact the IRS for further information.

  1. Taxes

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  3. Deduction

    Any item or expenditure subtracted from gross income to reduce ...
  4. Tax Credit

    An amount of money that a taxpayer is able to subtract from the ...
  5. Internal Revenue Service - IRS

    A United States government agency that is responsible for the ...
  6. Deficiency Agreement

    An arrangement in which a party provides a firm with funds to ...
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