Tax-Related Identity Theft Notice: What To Do If You Receive an IRS Letter

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If the IRS suspects tax-related identity theft, the agency will pull it for additional review. When this happens, the IRS will send out a letter notifying you of potential identity theft. These returns won’t be processed until you respond to the letter, so you must take the right steps to resolve the issue.

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The IRS will send you one of three identity fraud letters:

Letter 5071C or Letter 6331C (Potential Identity Theft during Original Processing with Online Option)

This letter will ask you to use an online tool to verify your identity and tell the IRS if you filed that return. Go to the agency’s Identity Verification Service or call the IRS Identity Verification telephone number in the 5071C or 6331C letter.

Make Your Money Work

Letter 4883C or Letter 6330C (Potential Identity Theft during Original Processing)

This letter will ask you to call the IRS to verify your identity and tell them if you filed that return. Call the number listed in your letter. The letter may say to call within 30 days, but the IRS will work with you no matter how many days have passed. When you call, make sure you have your letter, the income tax return referenced in the letter, a prior year income tax return other than the year listed in the letter and supporting documents that you filed with each tax return.

Letter 5747C (Potential Identity Theft during Original Processing)

This letter is sent to victims of a data breach. You may be asked to verify your identity at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. If not, you can use the agency’s Identity Verification Service to verify your identity online. You can also verify online if you did or didn’t file a tax return. However, if you didn’t file, you’ll need to call the IRS Identity Verification number on your letter to explain your situation. If you did file, call the Taxpayer Assistance Center number listed on your letter.

Make Your Money Work

If you have an appointment at the Taxpayer Assistance Center, make sure to bring your letter, the referenced income tax return, a prior income tax return other than the year listed in the letter and supporting documents that you filed with each tax return. You will also need to bring identity verification documents, such as a valid driver’s license, state ID or passport and at least one of the following documents:

  • Current U.S. federal or state government-issued identification that is different from the first document provided;
  • U.S. Social Security card; mortgage statement with current address;
  • Lease agreement for a house or apartment with current address; 
  • Car title; 
  • Voter registration card;
  • Utility bill with current address;
  • Birth certificate (the IRS no longer accepts Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010); or
  • Current school records

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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