When a thief steals someone's Social Security number, they can use it to file a fraudulent tax return. This is tax-related identity theft. The IRS scans tax returns for possible fraud. If a tax return is flagged as suspicious, the agency will pull it for more review. Then the IRS will send the taxpayer a letter notifying them of potential ID theft. The suspicious tax return won't be processed until the taxpayer responds to the letter.
Here are the identity fraud letters the IRS may send to taxpayers:
* Letter 5071C, Potential Identity Theft with Online Option. This letter asks the taxpayer to use an online tool to verify their identity and tell the IRS if they filed that return.
* Letter 4883C, Potential Identity Theft. This letter asks the taxpayer to call the IRS to verify their identity and tell the IRS if they filed that return.
* Letter 5747C, Potential Identity Theft In Person Appointment. This letter asks the taxpayer to verify their identity in person at a local Taxpayer Assistance Center if they filed a tax return.
Taxpayers should follow the steps in the letter exactly.
If the IRS sends a taxpayer an identity theft letter, the taxpayer should follow the steps in the letter. That letter will provide all the information that the IRS needs. There is no need for the taxpayer to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.