Understanding your CP304A notice

What this notice is about

We couldn't complete your request for transcripts or copies of your tax returns because we first need to verify your identity.

We believe another person may have used your Social Security number (SSN). There is no known impact to your tax return or refund related to the potential misuse of your SSN.

If there's more than one name on the notice, this notice is related to the first person named. The person named may be a minor child, dependent, or other non-filer. However, because someone potentially used that person's SSN for employment, there's still a risk of identity theft.

What you need to do

  • Read your notice carefully. It will explain what you need to do to verify your identity.
  • Contact us if you have questions about your taxpayer account.

What you need to do about your taxes

You don't need to take any action for your taxes at this time. Please continue to file all applicable tax returns timely.

Steps you may want to take to protect your financial and credit information

Note: We issued this notice without regard to age or other factors. Due to a lack of credit or other financial history, minor children, dependents, and some non-filers may not be able to use the protections below.

  • Review your earnings with the Social Security Administration. Ensure their records are correct. You can create an account on their website which can assist you if an unauthorized person used your SSN.
  • Monitor your credit reports and all financial accounts. Review their accounts for signs of misuse of your personal information.
  • Place a one-year fraud alert on your credit accounts. Contact one of the following three credit bureaus listed below. That bureau must tell the other two.
  • Consider filing a report with law enforcement such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC can also provide information on how to file reports with other law enforcement agencies. Contact the FTC at identitytheft.gov or by calling them at 877-438-4338; TTY 866-653-4261.

    If law enforcement requires personal tax information regarding their investigation, complete and return Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, to us.

  • Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN). An IP PIN is a six-digit number you include on your personal tax return to help us verify your identity and prevent identity theft related to your personal tax return. A missing or incorrect IP PIN prevents the electronic filing of a tax return, and a paper return filed without the IP PIN or an incorrect IP PIN will be subject to additional review and delay any refund due. You can get an IP PIN by creating an account at Get An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) PDF.

Frequently asked questions

The SSN used for employment belongs to the first name on the notice. If the person hasn’t filed a tax return, the notice was sent in care of the second name.

Employment-related identity theft has no connection to the filing of a tax return but is based on the use of an SSN for employment. Minor children, dependents and other non-filers can also be victims.

No. Federal disclosure laws prevent us from disclosing any taxpayer information to you.​​​​

No. The identification of potential identity theft doesn’t impact your current or future tax return or any refund you may be expecting. Continue to file and pay your taxes as you normally would.

We don’t know if the use of your SSN was intentional or accidental. We’re notifying you so you can take appropriate steps to protect your financial and credit accounts, if you wish.

Identity thieves can obtain personal information through a variety of methods including data breaches, telephone scams, phishing, or stealing things from mailboxes.

No, the identification of the misuse of our SSN is not related to any changes or errors on your part.​​​​​

Although IRS is limited to protecting your tax account, it’s possible that the misuse of your SSN may affect your Social Security, Medicare, VA, or other benefits that are based on your income. For this reason, we recommend taking steps identified on your notice and this web page to protect your credit and financial accounts.

No. We placed an identity theft indicator on your account. This will allow us to take additional precautions to protect you from future tax related identity theft.

If you can’t find an answer on IRS.gov or one of the links on this page, you can contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at the telephone number on your notice.

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