Identity verification letters are mailed through the U.S. Postal Service to the address on the tax return. The notice will require the taxpayers to verify their identities in order for the IRS to complete the processing of the tax return.

One of the following letters will be sent to the taxpayer advising them to contact TPP to authenticate their identity:

  • A Letter 4883C, Potential Identity Theft during Original Processing – issued on accounts for returns filed with an address in the United States.
  • A Letter 5447C, Potential Identity Theft during Original Processing; Foreign Address – issued on accounts for returns filed with an address outside the United States
  • A Letter 5747C, Potential Identity Theft during Original Processing
  • Letter 5071C, Potential Identity Theft During Original Processing with Online Option – this letter is being issued for accounts meeting specific criteria. The letters will provide a web address to the Identity Verification Service ( landing page located via the website. The letter and the website instruct the taxpayer to use the id verify website if they did not file a tax return. The letter and the website advise the taxpayer to contact the IRS using the TPP toll free number, which is listed in the letter, if they filed a return. If caller states they had issues with the website, were confused with the process, or had other concerns with responding to the questions, apologize for the inconvenience and continue with the authentication process. Responses to the Letter 5071C should be resolved using the instructions for the Letter 4883C.

Taxpayers may receive a letter when the IRS stops suspicious tax returns that have indications of being identity theft but contains a real taxpayer’s name and/or Social Security number.

The most common notices the IRS sends out are 5071C or 4883C

These letters require taxpayers to verify identity before the IRS will continue processing a tax return. Each letter details the process that the IRS requires to validate their identities.

What Is the Difference Between Letter 4883C and 5071C?

  • IRS letter 4883C goes out when the agency needs more information to process a tax return issued by the taxpayer.
  • It does not mean someone filed a fake return. Instead, it implies it does not have all the information it needs to process it.
  • It might be the taxpayer forgot to include essential information, or some data doesn’t add up.
  • During the course of the verification, though, it can detect the authenticity of the tax return.
  • When a person receives an IRS letter 5071C, it means the agency suspects someone else filed the return.
  • According to the IRS, letter 5071C goes out to verify the identity of the filer as part of their identity verification methods.

IRS Identity Validation Process for 5071C

You have a few options to validate your identity, which you should also see on the WMR tool if you are expecting a refund.

  • Letter 5071C is mailed through the USPS to the address provided on the tax return. It asks taxpayers to verify their identities in order for the IRS to complete processing of the returns. The letter will provide two options site or a toll-free number – to confirm whether or not they filed the return.
  • (Fastest way) Go online and use the IRS Identity Verification Service website. You should only go to this website after receiving Letter 5071C because it will contain a unique case number to expedite the verification process.
  • Call the IRS. Once you have received your letter you can verify your identity by phone by calling the IRS Identity Verification Service at (800) 830-5084)

It is important to understand that the IRS does not request such information via e-mail; nor will the IRS call you directly to ask this information without first sending you an identity verification letter. Each letter has a case number pertaining to your situation and can be found in the upper corner of the page.

Things you will need to validate your identity with the IRS

Here are some of the items you will need to validate or confirm your identity with the IRS. This must match what you provided on your most recent tax return:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN)
  • Date of Birth
  • Filing Status
  • Mailing Address
  • Third Party Verification Questions such as prior address, W2 information, mortgage information, etc., that only you should know.
  • You must also provide us with a valid email address, which the IRS will confirm and use to notify you if your registration information changes.

Once the identity is verified, the taxpayers can confirm whether or not they filed the return in question. This will resume processing of the tax return and any applicable refunds.

What happens after I finish the Verification Process?

If the verification proves you are the person named on the return and that you personally filed the tax return, the return will be processed. After successful verification, it could take between 2-9 weeks to complete the processing of your tax return.

The return will be rejected and investigated as identity theft/tax fraud if:

  • Verification fails to confirm your identity or that you filed the return
  • If the verification process is not completed, or can’t be completed

Respond to all requests from the IRS to validate your identity in order to avoid automatic rejection of what could be a valid tax return.

How many have had to ID Verify this Year or in previous Years? And How long after Identity Verification did you get your Refund?


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