Don’t Ignore an IRS 5071C letter!

Now that your tax return has been filed and you are waiting for your refund, you think that everything is ok. Well, for most of our clients, that is the case. However, if you receive a 5071C letter from the IRS, you have to respond to it.

What is a 5071C letter? It is a letter sent by the IRS if a tax return filed with your name and social security number looks suspicious.

This letter notifies the taxpayer that the IRS received a tax return, usually electronically, that has your name and social security number, and which has unusual or unexpected information.  The trigger could be as simple as an address change. The IRS might be concerned that a false return is being filed with your information.  If the IRS believes that the return could be associated with identity theft, before they process that return, they need to hear from the taxpayer to verify the information received.

What do you do if you receive a 5071C letter? Be sure to inform your tax advisor Do not ignore it. 

There are two courses of action:

  1. Call the IRS at 1-800-830-5084 between 7 am and 7 pm, Monday through Friday or alternatively,
  2. Go to the IRS’ identify verification service website at and click on the box that says Verify Your Identity Now.

While calling is an option, getting through via phone continues to be difficult and time-consuming. The IRS prefers that you log on to the website. The website is quick, secure and available 24 hours a day. Before you call or go online, make sure that you have ready the 5071C letter and your most recently filed tax return.

After you have successfully authenticated your identity, the IRS will begin to process your tax return. The IRS is stating that the wait time will be about nine weeks from the time you verify your identity to the time that you receive your refund.  The actual response period could be longer.  The IRS will generally pay interest on refunds which take longer than 45 days to process. 

In summary, if you filed your 2021 tax return and received a 5071C letter from the IRS, please do not ignore it. Go online and verify your identity, so that your tax return can get processed and you can get your refund! 

Contact your Schneider Downs representative if you have questions. 


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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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