IRS Letter 5071C – Potential Identity Theft During Original Processing
The IRS is requesting additional information to validate your identity before they will continue to process your tax return.
What does it mean if I received a 5071C letter?
Thanks to the many moving parts of stimulus packages and new tax laws, scammers have been particularly busy in recent years. The IRS is working diligently to identify fraud attempts as quickly as possible, so if you receive a 5071C letter, you may have steps you need to complete in order for your tax return to be filed.
What is a 5071C letter?
The IRS sends a 5071C letter when it receives a tax return with your name and tax identification number, but believes the return to be fraudulent. A Letter 5071C will ask you to complete an online identity verification process to confirm your identity.
If you haven’t filed and you received a 5071C letter, someone may have filed a fraudulent tax return using your name and Social Security Number or Individual Identification Number. It’s extremely important that you verify your identity and confirm that you may be a victim of identity theft so any further fraud attempts are stopped.
If you have filed and received a 5071C letter, the IRS may need more information from you to process your return, issue a refund or apply the overpayment to your next year’s estimated tax.
What you need to do immediately
It is imperative that you verify your identity with the IRS. You can either do so online or by calling.
To verify your identity online, to access the IRS Identity Verification Service. You will need to register to the website before you can verify your identity. This secure service is available 24 hours a day. Have the 5071C letter you received and a copy of the tax return listed in the letter. If you haven’t yet filed your income tax return, you’ll be able to indicate that on the site.
- You must register to the website before verifying your identity. Be sure to check the website and prepare all the documents needed to complete the registration.
- Have a copy of the 5071C or 6331C letter you received and a copy of the tax return for the tax year shown in the letter.
- If you did not file an income tax return, you can indicate that on the website.
If you want to call the IRS
If you’d rather speak with an IRS representative directly, you can call the toll-free number listed on your 5071C or 6331C letter. The IRS is experiencing higher than normal call volume. We recommend calling first thing in the morning or about a half hour before they close. If they are unable to verify your identity over the phone or online, the IRS might ask you to schedule an appointment at a local office to verify your identity in person.
Please Note: Although the letters request a response within 30 days, the IRS will continue to work with you regardless of the amount of days that have passed.
Regardless if you call or go online to verify your identity, you’ll need to collect the following items:
Please have ALL of the following available when you call:
- Credit card
- Student loan
- Home equity loan or home equity line of credit
- Car loan
- A mobile phone associated with your name
- Your 5071C letter, 5747C letter, 5447C letter, or 6331C letter
- The income tax return (form 1040,1040-PR, 1040-NR, 1040-SR, etc.) for the year shown on the letter
- Note: A Form W-2 or 1099 is not an income tax return
- Supporting documents that you filed with each year’s tax return. (Form W-2, Form 1099, Schedule C or F, etc.).
- Your mailing address from your previous year’s tax return
Please Remember: The toll-free number IRS Identity Verification number is for identity verification only. No other tax-related information, including refund status, is available.
Why am I getting this letter?
- IF YOU DIDN’T FILE: Someone may have filed a fraudulent tax return using your name and SSN or ITIN. If you didn’t file an income tax return for the year above, it is important to let the IRS know on IRS Identity Verification Service immediately and confirm that you may be victim of identity theft to stop further fraudulent activities.
- IF YOU DID FILE: Contact the IRS through IRS Identity Verification Service – they just need more information from you to verify your identity and process your income tax return, issue a refund, or apply the overpayment to your next year’s estimated tax.
What happens after I successfully verify?
If the IRS successfully verifies your identity, they will process your tax return. It could take up to 9 weeks to receive your tax refund or credit any overpayment to your account. However, if the IRS finds other problems, they contact you again. This will delay your refund more.
What happens if I do not verify immediately?
If you don’t call or go online to verify your identity with the IRS, the IRS will be unable to process your tax return, issue tax refunds or credit any overpayments. This will delay your refund more.
What happens if I cannot verify?
If the IRS can’t verify your identity online or over the phone, they will ask you to schedule an appointment and bring the documents listed above to your local IRS office to verify in person.