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How to Handle an Identity Verification Letter from the IRS

The IRS is taking measures to protect taxpayers who may be victims of identity theft. If the IRS received a federal income tax return with a taxpayer's name and/or social security number that appears fraudulent, the IRS will request more information in order to process the tax return. The taxpayer will receive a 5071C letter sent through the U.S. Postal Service to the address provided on the tax return to verify the taxpayer's identity. Once the taxpayer verifies their identity, the IRS will either continue to process, or reject the tax return.

Once a taxpayer receives the 5071C letter, there are two options to confirm identity. A taxpayer may safely and quickly confirm that they filed the tax return on the IRS website at www.idverify.irs.gov. Additionally, the taxpayer may verify identity by calling the IRS toll free number that is found on the letter. However, the IRS has suggested that confirming identity on the website may be the better option for most, due to the high call volume on its toll free number lines. The IRS will never request information via e-mail, or call taxpayers directly without first sending the 5071C letter. The letter number can be found in the upper corner of the page.

Once a taxpayer logs onto the website, the IRS will request information through a series of questions that only the real taxpayer is able to answer. For this process, it is necessary to have the current and previous years' tax returns in addition to other documents such as the W-2 form and 1099. Once the IRS has confirmed the taxpayer's identity, the taxpayer can then confirm whether they have filed the return. If you have not filed the return, the IRS will assist the taxpayer regarding the next steps to take. If the return has been confirmed by the taxpayer, it will be processed within 6 weeks and a refund will be issued.

Taxpayers must be aware of those who attempt to gain their personal and confidential information for the purposes of identity theft. It is important to take precautions and never give personal information to anyone unless they have verified who they are. The IRS website is a safe and secure site that allows taxpayers to verify their identities quickly and safely. Please be aware that IRS.gov is the official website, and not to be confused with ".com, .org, .net," or any other site.

For further information from the IRS regarding the 5071C letter, click here.

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