Is a Scam?

Is a Scam?

I just received a letter in the mail appearing to be from the IRS, asking me to verify my identity at I think it's legit, but I want to check if anyone has heard of this before.

This is a 5071C letter that is use to verify 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 the IRS oline or by phone to verify your identity and tax return information.


  • Use the IRS 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, the IRS 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?

The IRS will continue processing your return. It will take approximately nine weeks to process.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.
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Comments (Total: 7)

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  • August 27, 2020 at 5:27 PM by an anonymous user from: Long Valley, New Jersey, United States

    Just got the letter, saying they can't process my return, issue a refund or or apply the overpayment to next year's estimated tax. Hmm, I received my refund 6 weeks ago.

  • August 25, 2020 at 10:24 AM by an anonymous user from: Stuart, Florida, United States

    Went to the website to idverify. They asked for my email and last 4 digits of SS# then said they would send me an email to get my user name. I never got the email as promised and couldn't log in. Called the phone number and they indicated 'too busy - call again'. I doubt they will ever be unbusy since the IRS budget has been cut to the bone and the bureaucratic demands are ever increasing.

  • August 24, 2020 at 1:54 PM by an anonymous user from: Manassas, Virginia, United States

    Been waiting 5 months for my refund and get the id verification letter today. I go to the site to try to do what they tell me is an easy and quick process and find the site is down for service or something and try later. The best part, When I do finally do what is needed to their satisfaction to prove that I am me, it will take another 9 weeks to get my return. and another joke, there is no phone number to contact them in the letter like it says, just the on-line address. Between the Irs, the post office and rest of local and federal govt...SHAME ON US!

  • August 1, 2020 at 5:38 PM by an anonymous user from: Newark, Ohio, United States

    Never got an IRS letter from Austin tx before. Because the online address is .gov, I suspect that this is not a scam, but since I have no tax due or no refund, I'm going to just ignore the letter. Won't make any difference in the long run. Since I have been filing with the same name and address for 24 years, I would think they have no reason to suspect any fraud. I'm 74 and obviously they mistook me for someone who gives a shi-.

  • July 25, 2020 at 12:06 PM by an anonymous user from: United States

    I received the 5071C letter today, and was not able to get online to because they are down for service. Then it hit me! I'm old and haven't had to file a tax return in over 10 years, and if I do not reply and give them ID verification then they will not process the tax refund! Why should I call the number on the letter and give away more personal information when it is not me that is waiting for a refund!

  • May 4, 2020 at 12:16 PM by an anonymous user from: Studio City, California, United States

    I have been calling IRS number on the 5071 letter but outgoing message directs me to IDVERIFY. If this is a 3rd party, so no surprising that taxpayers are subjected to so many scams because it is the IRS that is partner in crime

  • April 16, 2020 at 10:11 AM by an anonymous user from: Southfield, Michigan, United States

    Just finished verifying my ID Verification on line in ref to my 5071C letter from IRS which was mailed to me. At no time was I asked any questions pertaining to my 1040's, w-2 or things mentioned in the letter. I was told at the end of inputting info my identity was confirmed. Pray I wasn't scammed.

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