Be Prepared to Validate Identity When Calling the IRS

IRS has issued some tips regarding taxpayer phone calls to IRS, including what information callers need to be able to provide to IRS call center assistors to validate their identity.

Noting that mid-February marks the agency’s busiest time of the year for telephone calls, IRS has passed along the following tips regarding phone calls:

Validating your identity. Callers should have the following data at the ready when they call IRS, in order that IRS can verify their identity:

If calling about a personal tax account.

  • Social Security numbers and birth dates for those listed on the tax return
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for those without a Social Security number (SSN)
  • Filing status – Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate
  • Prior-year tax return. IRS may need to verify identity before answering certain questions
  • A copy of the tax return in question

If calling about a Letter 4883C. At this time of year, IRS begins sending letters to taxpayers inquiring about suspicious tax returns it has identified. It’s important for IRS and the taxpayer to confirm whether or not the taxpayer actually filed the return in question. Taxpayers have 30 days to call. To expedite the process when calling, taxpayers must have:

  • The IRS letter
  • Copy of prior year tax return (if filed)
  • Current year tax return (if filed)
  • Any supporting documents for each year’s return (such as W-2’s, 1099’s, Schedule C, Schedule F, etc.)

If calling about someone else’s account. IRS call center assistors will only speak with the taxpayer or his legally designated representative. Before calling, have the following information handy:

  • Verbal or written authorization to discuss the account
  • The ability to verify the taxpayer’s name, SSN/ITIN, tax period, form(s)
  • If the caller is a third party designee, a PTIN or PIN
  • A current, completed, and signed Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization or
  • A completed and signed Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative

If calling about a deceased taxpayer. Be prepared to fax:

  • The deceased taxpayer’s death certificate, and
  • Either copies of the Letter of Testamentary approved by the court or IRS Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship (for estate executors)