The IRS is now sending notice 5071C to obtain information from taxpayers to verify their identities. The IRS is requesting this additional information to prevent fraudulent tax returns from sneaking through their system. Identity thieves steal taxpayers’ personal information and file fraudulent tax returns on their behalf to pocket refunds. The 5071C allows the IRS to contact taxpayers and confirm their personal information.
Notice 5017C informs the individual that the IRS has received a tax return with their name and/or social security number, and that they need to verify the identity of the recipient of the notice. A taxpayer has two options to respond:
- They can verify their identity using the IRS Identity Verification Service at idverify.irs.gov.
- The second option is to call the IRS on their toll-free Identity Verification number in the upper corner of the notice.
When using either of the two contact methods, the taxpayer should have a copy of their last filed tax return and their current year’s tax return, along with other documents that verifies their identity. Until the identity of the taxpayer is verified, the IRS will not complete the processing of the return.
The IRS will not ask taxpayers to confirm their identity via email or phone. Fraudsters use a number of tactics to deceive taxpayers, including sending out fake emails, letters or making phone calls. Taxpayers should only respond to notice 5017C to verify their identity and only use the two methods given above to provide information to the IRS.
If the taxpayer filed the return and there was no identity theft, the IRS should process the return in approximately six weeks. If the taxpayer did not file the return, then they must contact the IRS immediately using either of the two methods shared above.