Understanding your letter 4883C

What this letter is about

We received a federal income tax return, Form 1040-series, filed under your Social Security number (SSN) or individual tax identification number (ITIN). To protect you from identity theft, we need you to verify your identity and the tax return so that we can continue processing it. If you didn’t file a tax return, you must let us know.

What you need to do immediately

Call the Taxpayer Protection Program Hotline shown in your 4883C letter.

Have ALL of the following available when you call:

  • The 4883C letter;
  • The Form 1040-series tax return referenced in the letter (Forms W-2 and 1099 aren't tax returns)
  • A prior year tax return, other than the year in the letter, if you filed one and have it available (Forms W-2 and 1099 aren't tax returns)
  • Supporting documents for each year's tax return you filed (e.g., Form W-2, Form 1099, Schedules C, Schedule F, etc.)

If you DIDN'T file a tax return: Someone may have filed a fraudulent tax return using your name and SSN or ITIN. If you didn't file a tax return for the tax year shown on your letter, let us know immediately as you may be a victim of identity theft.

Note: An authorized third party can represent you and can call us on your behalf, but we must have a completed Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of RepresentativePDF on file for the representative. We encourage you to be available with your authorized representative to help verify your identity. If you want to have someone else assist you on the call and haven't utilized a Form 2848, you and that person must call us together and you must participate on the call.

If you're acting as a fiduciary for an individual, a descendant's estate, or a trust, complete and send us Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary RelationshipPDF. For more information about Form 56, visit About Form 56.

Note: The IRS Taxpayer Protection Program Hotline is for identity and tax return verification ONLY. No other tax-related information, including refund status, is available.

Frequently asked questions

What if I am incarcerated?

You must coordinate with your prison official.

What happens if I do not verify immediately?

Until we hear from you, we won't be able to process your tax return, issue refunds, or credit any overpayments to your account.

What happens if I can't verify by phone?

We'll ask you to schedule an appointment and bring the documents listed above to your local IRS office to verify in person.

What happens after I successfully verify?

We'll process your tax return. It may take up to 9 weeks to receive your refund or credit any overpayment to your account. However, if we find other problems, we'll contact you again and this may delay your refund.

What else can I do to protect my identity?

Refer to Publication 5027, Identity Theft Information for TaxpayersPDF or visit Identity Theft Central.

Getting an IRS Identity Protection PIN can help prevent misuse of your taxpayer identification number on fraudulent federal income tax returns. Learn more at Get an identity protection PIN (IPPIN).