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

Perhaps due to the new recovery rebate credit, many taxpayers are receiving letters asking to verify their identity after filing their tax returns.

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

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 the IRS can’t verify your identity over the phone or online, they 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.

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