CSH’s Fred Francis, Senior Accountant, contributed to this article.
As the tax deadline looms and more personal returns are being filed, we are seeing an increase in identity theft warnings and updates. To help prevent and catch identity fraud, the IRS is sending letter 5071C to taxpayers whose name and/or Social Security Number appear on suspicious tax returns.
The letter requests that the recipient verify his or her identity, and authenticate the return that was filed. In the message, the IRS offers the option to verify online at www.idverify.irs.gov – the fastest, easiest way to complete this task – instead of having to call the ID Theft Hotline or file Form 14039.
Those who choose to verify through the website will be asked a series of questions that only the legitimate filer of the return could answer. Once the taxpayer’s identity has been verified, he or she will have the opportunity to confirm if they were indeed the filer of the return in question.
Please note that the IRS does not email taxpayers to request identity verification. Neither will the IRS call a taxpayer directly, unless they have first sent a letter. For more information, see the IRS’s recent statement.