Understanding Your 5071C Letter

What this letter is about

Verifying your identity to process a federal income tax return filed with your name and taxpayer identification number.


What you need to do

If you filed a tax return or didn't file a tax return

Contact us online or by phone to verify your identity and tax return information.

Online

  • Use our secure Identity Verification Service. It’s quick, secure, and available 24 hours a day.
  • Have a copy of the 5071C letter you received and a copy of the tax return for the tax year shown in the letter.

By phone

  • Call the toll-free IRS Identity Verification telephone number in the 5071C letter.

Have a copy of the following:

  • The 5071C letter
  • The tax return referenced in the letter (Form 1040, 1040A, 1040-EZ, 1040-PR, 1040-NR, 1040-SR, etc.). Note: A Form W-2, Form 1099 is not a tax return.
  • A previous year’s income tax return, other than the year in the letter (Form 1040, 1040A, 1040-EZ, 1040-PR, 1040-NR, 1040-SR, etc.). Note: A Form W-2, Form 1099 is not a tax return.
  • Supporting documents that you filed with each year’s tax return. (Form W-2, Form 1099, Schedule C of F, etc.).

If we can’t verify your identity over the phone or online, we may ask you to schedule an appointment at your local IRS office to verify your identity in person.

Note: Authorized third parties may assist taxpayers, but the taxpayer must be present on the phone or in-person.

If we don’t hear from you, we may not be able to process your return, issue refunds, or apply overpayments to next year’s estimated tax.

The toll-free number IRS Identity Verification number is for identity verification only. No other tax-related information, including refund status, is available.

You can find more information in Publication 5027, Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers (PDF).


Frequently asked questions

What happens after I verify online or after I call?

We’ll continue processing your return. It will take approximately nine weeks to process.

Reference Tools

Need Help?

If you can’t find what you need online, call the IRS number at the top of your notice or letter.

 

Need Help?

  • You can authorize someone to contact the IRS on your behalf.
  • If you can’t find what you need online, call the IRS number at the top of your notice or letter.