Taxpayers Must Validate Their Identity When Calling the IRS (IR-2017-32)

CCH Tax Day Report

Taxpayers must be prepared to validate their identity when speaking with an IRS assistor; preparation will help to avoid a repeat call at one of the IRS’s busiest times of year. To better serve taxpayers around the President’s Day holiday, the peak time of the year for telephone calls to the IRS, the IRS toll-free lines will be open Saturday, February 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (callers’ local time) and Monday, February 20, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (callers’ local time). Information on online options available to help taxpayers avoid the President’s Day Rush can be obtained here.

Personal Tax Account

Before calling about a personal tax account, taxpayers must have the following information handy:

Social Security numbers and birth dates for those listed on the tax return;

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for those without a Social Security number (SSN);

Filing status (Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate);

A copy of the tax return in question; and

Any letters or notices received from the IRS.

Letter 4883C

When the IRS identifies a suspicious return it will 4883C letters to the taxpayer to determine whether the taxpayer actually filed the return. Taxpayers have 30 days to call, which allows time to avoid the rush around Presidents’ Day. To expedite the process when calling, taxpayers must have:

The IRS letter;

Copy of prior year tax return (if filed);

Current year tax return (if filed); and

Any supporting documents for each year’s return (such as W-2s, 1099s, Schedule C, Schedule F, etc.).

Someone Else’s Account

IRS call center assistors will only speak with the taxpayer or their legally designated representative. Before inquiring about someone else’s account, taxpayers must have the following information handy:

Verbal or written authorization to discuss the account;

The ability to verify the taxpayer’s name, SSN/ITIN, tax period, form(s);

If the caller is a third party designee, a PTIN or PIN must be provided; and

A current, completed, and signed Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization or a completed and signed Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.

Deceased Taxpayer

For inquiries about deceased taxpayers, individuals must be prepared to fax the deceased taxpayer’s death certificate, and either copies of the Letter of Representation approved by the court or IRS Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship (for estate executors).

Finally, taxpayers should use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool to track the status of their refund. The IRS phone assistors do not have additional information on refund dates beyond what is available on “Where’s My Refund?” Given high call volumes, taxpayers should not call unless directed to do so by the refund tool. In addition, a common myth is that people can get their refund date earlier by ordering a tax transcript. There is no such “secret” option to find a refund date by calling the IRS or ordering a transcript.

IR-2017-32

AUTHOR

CCHTaxGroup

All stories by: CCHTaxGroup

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