How to verify your IRS identity to get your refund tutorial

If you have received a letter from the IRS asking you to verify your IRS identity, it is probably because you have filed a tax return. This letter is sent by the IRS in order to stop identity thieves from stealing refunds.

It is worth mentioning that the IRS is the Internal Revenue Service, the federal agency of the U.S. government that enforces tax laws and collects taxes from U.S. citizens.

When should I verify my identity?

Generally, you must verify your IRS identity with the IRS after you receive one of the following letters, which will physically arrive at your home address.

  • Letter 5071C.
  • Letter 6331C.
  • Letter 5747C.
  • Letter 5447C.

IMPORTANT: The IRS does not send letters via email or other digital media.

The letter normally has 30 days to respond to the IRS, although the agency states in the verification line that they will work with the person who received the letter regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed.

Below, we will explain step by step how to verify your IRS identity and get your refund, for which you need to comply with a series of requirements.

How to verify my identity with the IRS: Step by Step

First step: Gather documents

The first thing you must do is to gather a series of documents that will be requested in order to justify the request. These documents are as follows:

  • Account number of:

o Credit card

o Loan or line of credit with mortgage guarantee.

o Mortgage.

o Car loan.

o Student loan.

  • Cell phone in the applicant’s name.
  • Mailing address from the previous year’s tax return.
  • The letter received (5071C, 5747C, 5447C or 6331C).
  • Income tax return for the year the letter (form 1040, 1040-PR, 1040-SR, 1040-NR, etc.) was issued.

IMPORTANT: Form 1099 or W-2 is not a tax return.

Step 2: Verify your IRS identity

To verify your IRS identity, you have three ways to do it. You can do it online, at an IRS office (by appointment), or, you can do it by a phone call. Let’s take a look at each of these options in detail.

Verify your identity online

One of the easiest and fastest ways to verify your IRS identity is through the Internet. We leave you the link so you can do it by clicking here.

Verify your identity by phone

In case you cannot go to an IRS office or you cannot do the process online, you should call the toll-free number provided by the IRS. This telephone number is the one that will appear on your letter. Generally, the number is as follows:

IRS telephone number Customer service hours


8008291040. Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

TIP: The best thing you can do is to do the process online, since by phone the waiting time is usually very long and tedious.

In case you cannot verify your IRS identity by phone or online, you must go to the IRS office with an appointment, so that you can go to the office in person without any inconvenience.

Step 3: Wait for IRS verification

If the IRS has successfully verified your identification, it will continue processing your tax return. This process can take up to two months or more (nine weeks).

REMINDER: You should always follow the instructions on the letter to avoid any mistakes.

Instructions for Filing Status and Mailing Address

Here’s what to do if you are filing a tax return for the first time or with a new address.

Filing your tax return with a new address

Enter your old address from last year, even if it is not your current address. This information will allow the IRS to verify your identity.

Filing your first income tax return

If you have just filed your first income tax return, you will need to select the “I have not filed a tax return in the last seven years” option.

What documentation do I need to contact the IRS?

For individuals

If you are calling the IRS as an individual, you should have the following documents on hand:

  • Social Security number.
  • Date of birth.
  • If you do not have a Social Security number, you must present your ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
  • Current tax return.
  • Filing status (single, head of household, married filing jointly, or married filing separately).
  • Previous year’s tax return.
  • Any correspondence sent to you by the IRS.

For the account of a third party

  • Full name and Social Security number, or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) of the taxpayer.
  • Preparer tax identification number (PTIN), or Identity Protection Number (IP PIN).
  • Written or verbal authorization of the account.
  • The tax return you are calling about
  • Current Form 8821 (Tax Information Authorization), or current Form 2848 (Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative).

Another person in the name of a deceased taxpayer

  • Death certificate.
  • Copies of court-approved letters testamentary, or Form 56 (Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship) if you are the heir.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do after the IRS verifies your identity?

After your identity has been successfully verified by the IRS, the entity will begin processing your tax return, but you have to be patient.

How long does it take to receive a refund?

Since many people are interested in this process, it can take up to 9 weeks to receive your refund, as well as for a payment to be credited to your account. If there is any inconvenience during the process, you will be contacted, although this will delay the refund even more.

What if the IRS cannot verify my identity?

If the IRS is unable to verify your identity over the phone or online, it is best to make an appointment to visit one of the IRS offices in person. Do not forget to verify all the documents you must bring with you when you go to an office.