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Calling the IRS? Be Prepared to Verify your Identity by Andreea Cioara Schinas, CPA

Posted on March 11, 2017 by Andreea Cioara Schinas

With the incidence of identity theft on the rise, especially during tax season, the IRS is taking steps to validate the identity of taxpayers who initiate contact with the agency.


Should an individual contact the IRS via telephone, he or she must be prepared to provide the following personal information in order to receive answers to questions about his or her tax account:

  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the IRS
  • Filing status indicated on last year’s tax return (e.g. Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate)
  • Information contained in an individual’s 2015 tax return, including his or her 2015 adjusted gross income and a 16-character code found on Form W-2.

Taxpayers should also remember that the IRS will never contact them directly via telephone or email. Therefore, taxpayers should take special care to avoid disclosing personal information to anyone claiming to be from the IRS.


If the IRS identifies it has received a suspicious tax return from a taxpayer, it will issue a Letter 4883C to the individual and request that he or she phone the agency to verify his or her identity. In these situations, taxpayers should have the following information handy:

  • The IRS letter
  • A copy of the prior year tax return filed
  • A copy of the current year tax return, if filed
  • Supporting documents, including copies of Form W-2, 1099s, Schedule C, etc.).

For many individuals, working directly with the IRS can be challenging. Therefore, taxpayers should consider engaging the assistance of qualified accountants and CPAs who have years of experience working with these IRS to resolve personal and business tax account matters.

About the Author: Andreea Cioara Schinas, CPA, is a director with Berkowitz Pollack Brant’s Tax Services practice, where she provides corporate tax planning for clients through all phases of business operations, including formation, debt restructuring, succession planning and business sales and acquisitions. She can be reached in the CPA firm’s Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office at (954) 712-7000, or via email at



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