I’m posting this in the hopes that it helps someone else.
On Thursday, my husband and I received a CP14 letter from the IRS saying our full balance of 2017 taxes were due. Of course we immediately worried that someone else cashed our check, which was withdrawn from our account on 4/24. We gave the phone number on the letter (after verifying the number was legit online) a call.
While on hold to speak to someone (which took about 45 minutes), I pulled up the copy of our canceled check from our bank and took a screenshot of it. I also found a Reddit post where the top comment was extremely helpful. This gave us hope that our check was, in fact, cashed by the IRS and that there was simply an error somewhere.
The man who took the call was extremely professional and helpful. He verified my information and I explained that we received a letter stating we hadn’t paid our 2017 taxes, when we had sent it in on time and the check was withdrawn from our account. He then put me on a 5 minute hold while he looked up my/our information and returned to the line to inform me that while I had written the check out correctly (with the notes stating “Form 1040” and our SSNs), I had listed my own SSN first rather than my husband’s, whose number is primary on our joint tax return.
(Lesson learned: if you’re filing joint taxes, and writing a check, list the primary SSN first.)
This was a very simple fix. He simply had me give approval to transfer that payment from my own SSN to the joint tax return, and then said it would take 1-2 weeks for the balance to be transferred and considered paid. He also said that they would waive the late fee and interest stated on the CP14 letter because it was paid on time, and our taxes would be considered paid as of the date they received the check (4/18).
All in all, the conversation took about 15 minutes. The man was very helpful and professional, and very informative. It was, actually, a really good experience (once you get past the initial fear of the letter and wipe your brow of nervous sweat).
Since there were so few threads that I found about this particular situation, I thought I’d post it in hopes that someone going through something similar will find it informative.
TLDR: Paid our 2017 joint taxes on time, but received a letter from IRS (letter CP14) that we hadn’t paid. Our check was cashed on 4/24. Called IRS, was informed that I hadn’t listed the primary SSN for our joint return first on the check, so it the payment wasn’t applied in the correct way. Easy verbal fix on the phone, took about 15 minutes of convo with the IRS to adjust. IRS has professional and kind phone representatives, be nice to them.