IRS Asking Taxpayers to Verify their Identities by Joseph L. Saka, CPA/PFS

Posted on March 24, 2015 by Joseph Saka

In an effort to stem the rise in tax-season identity theft, the Internal Revenue Service is mailing letters asking some taxpayers to verify their identities through the IRS’s Identify Verification Service website. Taxpayers should be aware that this is not a scam. The correspondence is being sent via U.S. Postal Service only to those taxpayers that the IRS suspects are victims of identity theft.


Letter 5071C directs affected taxpayers to gather copies of their returns for the current and prior years and visit to answer personally identifiable questions, for which only the taxpayer will know the answers. Alternatively, taxpayers may call a toll-free number listed in the upper corner of the letter. When using the latter method, callers should expect to wait for some time before speaking to an IRS representative.


Once a taxpayer’s identity is verified, he/she can confirm if he/she filed the return in question, and, if not, the IRS can assist in rectifying the problem at that time.


The IRS reminds taxpayers to be mindful of tax-season scams and remember that the IRS will never contact them via email or phone. Therefore, taxpayers should never share personally identifiable information via email or phone with anyone calling and claiming to represent the IRS.


About the author: Joseph L. Saka, CPA/PFS, is director in charge of the Tax Services practice at Berkowitz Pollack Brant. He may be reached in the Miami CPA firm’s office at (305) 379-7000 or via e-mail at