couple concerned about identity theft during income
tax-filing season sent me a copy of what they thought
was questionable correspondence from the IRS.
weekend, we received in the U.S. mail a letter marked
from the IRS stating they had questions regarding our
tax year 2014 filing," they said in a note.
"We have not yet filed our 2014 taxes. Also, it did
not show any portion of our Social Security number. We
also received a copy of the same letter on Monday,
letter said the IRS had received a copy of the coupleís
tax return and needed more information to verify their
identity so their return could be processed.
letter directed them to visit a secure website ó
idverify.irs.gov ó or call a toll-free IRS telephone
number to provide the information.
the couple were afraid they were being scammed.
husband turned 65 last summer and we wondered if they
(ID thieves) were targeting seniors in an IRS mailing
scam now," said the wife, who didnít want to be
identified out of fear of being victimized.
the couple received was legitimate correspondence from
called a "5071C" letter, said Clay Sanford,
IRS spokesman. The letter number can be found in the
upper right-hand corner of the page.
should use the secure website listed on the letter or
the number on the letter for more information," he
taxpayers who got the 5071C letter should access the
website will ask questions that only the real taxpayer
the identity is verified, taxpayers can confirm whether
or not they filed the return in question.
they didnít file the return, the IRS can take steps to
assist them. If they did file the return, it will take
about six weeks to process it and issue a refund.
may receive such a letter when the IRS stops suspicious
tax returns that have indications of being identity
theft but contain a real taxpayerís name and/or Social
is one way that the IRS is trying to stop refunds from
going into the wrong hands," Sanford said.
readers may have a problem on their hands. I asked
Sanford how the IRS could have flagged them when they
hadnít filed their return.
is possible someone else has filed a return" with
their Social Security number, Sanford said.
you get a 5071C letter, you will need to have your prior
year tax return and your current year tax return, if you
filed one, including supporting documents, such as Forms
W-2 and 1099 and Schedules A and C.
readers were wise to question what they received in the
mail. Sadly, there are many crooks out there trying to
get their hands on honest taxpayersí tax refunds.
if you receive a 5071C letter you can be assured it is
5071C is mailed through the U.S. Postal Service to the
address on the return," the IRS said. "The IRS
does not request such information via email, nor will
the IRS call a taxpayer directly to ask this information
without you receiving a letter first."
can never be too careful these days.