The IRS recently announced additional requirements for taxpayers and tax professionals to verify their identities when they call as part of security efforts.
Taxpayers and professionals should have the following documents ready when they call:
- Social Security numbers and birth dates for those who were named on the tax return in question
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter if the taxpayer has one in lieu of a Social Security number (SSN)
- Filing status – Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate
- The prior-year tax return. Telephone assistors may need to verify taxpayer identity with information from the return before answering certain questions
- A copy of the tax return in question
- Any IRS letters or notices received by the taxpayer
By law, IRS assistors will only speak with the taxpayer or to their legally designated representative. If taxpayers or tax professionals are calling about a third party’s account, they should be prepared to verify their identities and provide information about the third party they are representing. Before calling about a third party, be sure to have the following information available:
- Verbal or written authorization from the third-party to discuss the account
- The ability to verify the taxpayer’s name, SSN/ITIN, tax period, and tax form(s) filed
- Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) or PIN if a third-party designee
- A current, completed and signed Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization or
A completed and signed Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative
Questions regarding a deceased taxpayer require different steps. Be prepared to fax:
- The deceased taxpayer’s death certificate, and
- Either copies of Letters Testamentary approved by the court, or IRS Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship (for estate executors)
Tax season can be confusing and when one factors in the potential for fraud, it can become overwhelming. We can help. Our tax professionals are ready to guide clients from tax prep through filing in addition to working with the IRS if needed. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216.831.0733 for a no-cost, no cost obligation conversation. We're happy to talk with you.
Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.
The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door