Getting a letter from the IRS today almost certainly comes with apprehension. First, in today’s age we must assess and determine if the correspondence is in fact legitimately from the IRS. And, if there is personally identifiable information contained in the letter there becomes an immediate cause for concern that, if this is not from the IRS, who or what organization has your information and how did they get it. Based on inquiries we have received from our clients, here we look at the legitimate communications that are being sent by the IRS and what needs to be done in response to these letters.
IRS Identity Theft Verification Service
In order to combat identity theft, the IRS has implemented an Identity Theft Verification Service. This service requires taxpayers to verify their identity before their tax return can be processed. Part of this service includes an outreach to taxpayers via mail to verify their identity.
The IRS is mailing out one of the following letters if they are requiring a taxpayer to verify their identity before their tax return can be processed:
However, the IRS will not reach out in regard to identity verification via email or phone call. This subject initial communication by the IRS will only be handled via mail.
What you need to do
A taxpayer is able to verify their identity for Letters 4883C or 6330C via a phone call to the IRS as outlined in the letter. The remaining letters allow for verification of identity using one of two options: via phone call or the IRS website. Regardless of which option is taken, the following pieces of information will be necessary in order to verify the taxpayer’s identity:
- A copy of the letter received
- Tax return referenced in the letter
- Prior year tax return
- Supporting documentation for current and prior year tax returns
If a taxpayer decides to authorize another party to represent them before the IRS for the purpose of this identity verification, a power of attorney will need to be completed. Once the power of attorney is completed, the taxpayer and authorized party will both need to be on the line during the phone call with the IRS.
If Identity Can Not Be Verified
If the taxpayer cannot verify their identity over the phone or online, the taxpayer may be required to schedule an appointment with their local IRS office to verify their identity in person.
Once verification is obtained, the IRS will continue to process the taxpayer’s return. It can take up to nine weeks for the tax return to be processed and for the taxpayer to receive their refund/overpayment credit.
If you have questions about the information outlined above, do not hesitate to contact us. For additional information call us at 630.954.1400 or click here to contact us.