​What You Need To Know About Verification Letters from the IRS

​What You Need To Know About Verification Letters from the IRS

07/11/2022 Tags: Announcements, In the News


There’s been a lot of confusion lately about identity verification letters many people in the area have been getting from the IRS. Are they legitimate letters or some kind of scam? If they are legitimate, what should you do if you get a letter?

So, let’s take a look at why you might receive a letter, if it’s legitimate, and what you need to do about it.

To answer the legitimacy question, yes, those letters are coming from the IRS, not some scammer trying to steal your identity.

In fact, those communications aim to help the government prevent identity thieves from getting your refund.

But who has to use the IRS’s identity verification service?

You only have to use the service if:

  • You received a 5071C letter, 5747C letter, 6331C letter, or 5447C letter, or;
  • An IRS representative directed you to use it.

If you got a different letter from the IRS — like a 4883C or a 6330C letter — follow the instructions on the letter. With either of those two types of letters, you can’t use the IRS’s online service.

With the other letter types, there are a couple of options for verifying your identity. You can either go online, or you can call the toll-free number that’s listed on the letter you received.

If you choose the online option, you’ll need to create an account with the IRS (if you don’t already have one). You can create that account or log in to your existing one here.

If you need to create a new account, have your photo identification handy.

After you verify your identity, you have to then verify your tax return. To do that, the IRS requires that you answer questions about your return. You’ll need the Form 1040-series tax return for the year shown on the letter.

If you don’t see the questions about your return after verifying your identity, go back to the sign-in page, and sign in again.

If you can't verify your identity online or don't have the required documentation, you can call the IRS at the toll-free number listed on your letter.

To make the process faster when you’re calling the government, make sure you have:

  • Your 5071C letter, 5747C letter, 5447C letter, or 6331C letter
  • The Form 1040-series tax return for the year shown on the letter
  • Any other prior-year tax return, if you filed one
  • Any supporting W-2s, 1099s, Schedule C, Schedule F, etc.

If, for some reason, the IRS can’t verify your identity over the phone, they might ask you to make an appointment at an IRS office to verify your identity in person.

For more information about verifying your identity, check out the IRS’s instructions, and let us know if you have questions.


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