How to Verify your Identity with IRS and Get your Refund in 3 Steps

You may have received a letter from the IRS asking you to verify your identity after filing a tax return.

These letters are sent by the IRS to prevent identity thieves from getting your refund.

When do you need to verify your identity?

The most common situations when you are required to verify your identity with the IRS are when you receive one of the following letters:

  • Letter 5071C
  • Letter 5747C
  • Letter 6331C
  • Letter 5447C

Note that the IRS does not send such letters by email. You should only respond to an IRS letter that you receive via U.S. mail.

While the letter may state that you must respond within 30 days, the IRS states on the verification line that they will work with you regardless of the number of days that have passed.

First, gather your supporting documents

You’ll need to gather the following:

  • Your account number from a:
    • Credit card
    • Mortgage
    • 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
  • You must also have your mailing address from your previous year’s tax return

Second, verify your identification

There are three ways to verify your identity with the IRS.

You can verify it online, by phone, or by visiting your local IRS office (appointment required).

Online ID verification

Online is the quickest and easiest way to verify your identity.

Visit the IRS' identity verification service.

Special Instructions for Filing Status and Mailing Address:

  • If you just filed a tax return with a new address:
    • Enter the old address from the previous year, even if it’s not your current address. The IRS will use this information for identity verification
  • If you just filed your first tax return:
    • Select the option labeled “I have not filed a tax return in the past seven years” as your filing status

Other ways to verify your identity

If you aren’t able to verify our identity online or don’t have the required documentation, you’ll have to contact the IRS using the toll-free number listed on the letter.

If you can’t verify online call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

TIP: It is recommend that you try the online option first, as hold times on the phone can be very long.

If the IRS can’t verify your identity over the phone or online, the IRS phone rep may ask you to schedule an appointment at your local IRS office to verify your identity in person.

Third, wait for your return to process

After you’ve successfully verified your identification, the IRS will continue processing your return. It can take up to nine weeks to process.

17 thoughts on “How to Verify your Identity with IRS and Get your Refund in 3 Steps”

  1. Hi I have been going nuts n thought I was the only one. My husband is in prison n I have been trying to prove his identity. I have power of attorney but can’t do online n can’t get IRS to talk to me at any number…so so frustrating

    Reply
      • It never works. They say bad time to call to busy and hang up on u. I have tried for 21 days at multiple times and it’s the same waste of time each and every thime

        Reply
        • I LITERALLY called for a month and a half straight. Dug and found my student loan numberz and used both credit cards, they never could verify me onlinr…. They finally gave me the option for someone to call me back instead of telling me it’s too many callers with the same issue I have to take my call, even 17 mins after they opened at 7 I got that Same message for weeks…. I verified over the phone two days ago on Sept 7th and i got the letter July 18th 2021…… smh She told me if my funds don’t come by November 9th call them back… why so long! But keep trying…. it will take alot of calls, but just keep trying..

          Reply

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