IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

Instructions for Requesting Copy of Fraudulent Returns

We know that identity theft is a frustrating process for victims, and we are taking aggressive steps to stop fraudulent returns before they are processed. We understand victims want to know more about the information used on the fraudulent returns using their Social Security number.

A victim of identity theft or a person authorized to obtain the identity theft victim’s tax information may request a redacted copy (one with some information blacked-out) of a fraudulent return that was filed and accepted by the IRS using the identity theft victim’s name and SSN. Due to federal privacy laws, the victim’s name and SSN must be listed as either the primary or secondary taxpayer on the fraudulent return; otherwise the IRS cannot disclose the return information. For this reason, the IRS cannot disclose return information to any person listed only as a dependent.

Partial or full redaction will protect additional possible victims on the return. However, there will be enough data for you to determine how your personal information was used. 

To make the request, you will need to prepare a signed letter with the information described below and mail it and any additional documentation to the following address:

IRS
Fresno, CA 93888-0025

The IRS may return your request if it is missing the required information and/or documentation, or is made in a manner other than described in these instructions.

Note: For requests being sent using a Private Delivery Service ship to:

IRS
5045 East Butler Avenue
Fresno, CA 93727
"Identity Theft - Request for Fraudulent Return"

Required information and documentation for a request by the identity theft victim

If you are the person whose name and SSN was used to file a fraudulent tax return, the letter must contain the following information:

  • Your name and SSN
  • Your mailing address
  • Tax year(s) of the fraudulent return(s) you are requesting
  • The following statement, with your signature beneath: “I declare that I am the taxpayer.”

Your letter must be accompanied by a copy of your government-issued identification (for example, a driver’s license or passport).

Required information and documentation for a request by a person authorized to obtain the identity theft victim’s tax information

If you are authorized to obtain the identity theft victim’s tax information, the letter must contain the following information:

  • Your name and tax identification number (usually your SSN)
  • Your relationship to the victim of identity theft (for example, parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative)
  • Your mailing address
  • Centralized authorization file (CAF) number if you were assigned one by the IRS for an authorization that is on file with the IRS covering the requested tax year(s)
  • Tax year(s) of the fraudulent return(s) you are requesting
  • The taxpayer’s name and SSN
  • The taxpayer’s mailing address
  • The following statement, with your signature beneath: “I declare that I am a person authorized to obtain the tax information requested.”

Your letter must be accompanied by a copy of your government-issued identification (for example, a driver’s license or passport). You must also include documents demonstrating your authority to receive the requested tax return information (for example, Form 2848, Form 8821, or a court order) unless:

  • You are requesting return information of your minor child as a parent or legal guardian, or
  • Your authority to obtain return information for the requested tax year(s) is on file with the IRS and you are providing your CAF number.

FAQs

How long will it take to get the copy of the fraudulent return?

The time required to fulfill your request will depend on a number of factors. One factor is whether there are any open, unresolved issues with a tax return for a tax year requested. These are very complex cases, and we will need to resolve the underlying identity theft case before we can provide the return. The IRS will acknowledge your request within 30 days of receipt and within 90 days you will receive the return or follow-up correspondence. 

Why is some information on the return redacted?

The IRS may disclose return information from a fraudulent return to a person whose name and SSN are listed as the primary or secondary taxpayer when the disclosure does not seriously impair Federal tax administration. Although some information will be redacted or partially redacted, the remaining information will allow you to determine what information the identity thief may have about you and your family.

What information will be redacted on the copies I receive?

Return Information Redaction
Names of the primary taxpayer, secondary taxpayer, and dependents (or children reported for other tax benefits)

Entire name except the first four letters of the last name

(If the last name is four letters or less, then fewer than four letters of the last name will remain  
visible.)

Address of the primary and secondary taxpayers Entire address except the street name
Names and address of all other persons or entities on return Entire name and address
Taxpayer identification numbers (SSN/ITIN) and employer identification numbers (EIN) Entire number except the last four digits
Personally identifiable numbers, such as Designee’s Personal Identification Number (DPIN),Preparer’s Tax Identification Number (PTIN), etc. Entire number
Telephone number(s) Entire number except the last four digits
Bank routing and account number(s) Entire number except the last four digits
Signature Entire signature

Why can’t I request a copy of a fraudulent return that lists me or my child as a dependent?

Due to federal privacy laws, the IRS cannot disclose information to a person who is listed on a fraudulently filed tax return unless that person’s name and SSN is listed as the primary or secondary taxpayer on the return.

I received a letter returning my request because it was for a business. Why is the IRS returning requests for business returns?

At this time, you can only request a copy of a fraudulent tax return filed using Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040NR-EZ.

I received a letter returning my request because my address didn’t match IRS records. What do I need to do?

We will reject a request if the address you listed in the request does not match your IRS address of record. If you have recently moved and did not file a Form 8822, Change of Address, with the IRS, you will need to file this to change your address of record. You can resubmit your request of a copy of the fraudulent return after the IRS processes your address change.

How many tax years can I request?

You can request copies of fraudulent returns for the current tax year and previous six tax years.

I attempted to e-file my return and it was rejected because someone already filed using my Social Security number. Can I request this information now?

You may make a request at any time, but we must resolve the identity theft case before we can share the return. If you have just found you are a victim, please see our Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft for the best steps to take to resolve your case.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 28-Mar-2016