(WSPA) – If you’re expecting a tax refund but it hasn’t arrived, you may be one of a growing number of taxpayers who have been flagged by the IRS.
This time it has nothing to do with getting audited, it’s all to prevent fraud. And if you don’t take an important step, you won’t get your money.
“I got the letter saying they needed to confirm my identity and obviously didn’t believe it,” said Derek Digh, a business owner in Cherryville, NC.
It’s a normal reaction. After all, the IRS has been impersonated in so many phishing scams.
“There’s so many scams at this point in time that they see this and they’re scared to pick up the phone and call,” said tax preparer Dan Thomas, an IRS Enrolled Agent.
But as Thomas explains, the “5071-C” letter really is from the government. Keep in mind, this notice will only come as a letter. It will not come as email or text.
While the letter is not an audit, it does require your immediate attention if you want your tax refund.
“Number one, they’re stopping the return. The return will not be processed. They’re looking for verification of their identity to make sure that the tax return that they have in their system is for the person that is filing it,” said Thomas.
3rd stimulus checks: Social Security recipients could see faster $1,400 payments as data is turned over to IRS
And as Derek Digh can attest, be prepared to wait a long time to get through.
“I was on the phone for about an hour, hour and a half,” said Digh.
After all, you are dealing with the IRS.
And once you do get through, you’ll have to answer questions that dig much deeper than your mother’s maiden name.
“It was really wild, I was in the Marine Corps at one time and I had a house out there that I had purchased and they were asking me questions about that location and I was like wow, they are really digging here,” said Digh.
Digh says there is a way to verify your identify with the IRS online, but he tried it and it didn’t work for him, instructing him instead to call.
We should note, even though tax preparers can represent you before the IRS, in this situation they can’t make the phone call for you because only the taxpayer knows that private information.
So who is the IRS targeting? Thomas says it seems to be people who have recently had life changes like a move, marriage, divorce or getting out of jail.
‘Freeing for me:’ Navajo woman becomes viral sensation with skateboarding videos
“I had gotten divorced so my filings had changed, and then I gotten married again, so it was almost like it didn’t believe that I got married in their system somehow,” said Digh.
But in some cases, Thomas says it’s just random.
He says one thing is for certain; based on his clients at Jackson Hewitt, the number of people getting the letter has gone up this year.
“They’re sending out more letters than they’ve got people to handle it,” said Thomas.
So charge that cell phone, be prepared for a long call, and print out the last 4 years of tax returns.
“They were asking me, 2015 tax return, go to that page, line item K, what’s in that block,” said Digh.
But above all, don’t ignore that letter from the IRS.
Thomas and Digh say once you do get through, you will get return in 3 weeks, but it will likely come by mail, not direct deposit.
|The Unmanned Writer|
And does anybody not believe scammers are, at this moment, printing up letters and envelopes to send out by COB tomorrow?
Only in an insane world are the sane considered insane.
The memories of a man in his old age
Are the deeds of a man in his prime
|I Deal In Lead|
So if you get one, don't trust the phone number on the letter, go online and look up the IRS phone number and call that one.
I did the online option. There were quite a few security questions if I recall correctly. It was not fun. I did this after consulting with my CPA who explained that he could not do this for me. About a month later I got a written letter from the IRS.
BTW the real IRS has called me. They were really pissed when I thought the call was bogus. The sent a followup letter demanding I call them ASAP.
Damn, I guess I got lucky this year. With all the regulation changes related to the stimulus money, plus the stimulus checks themselves, I figured I'd be waiting a while for my refund. But it was deposited in my account in under a week from when I e-filed it. Surprised I was, hmmmm.
Wonder if that’s what is happening to us? Haven’t received a letter though. I always open all mail. Figures, with the change in gov, everything goes to the pits.
Just added....how long before you get a letter? Checked the link and they say don’t call until you get a letter....
The best thing you can do is get assigned an IP (Identity Protection) PIN. They are open to anyone now, but when first implemented you had to establish that you had experienced identity fraud. I just submitted some info about fraudulent CC charges and got my PIN. The IRS issues you a new PIN every year, and it comes in a US Mail letter. If you don't include it on your return, they won't accept it (as I found one year when I forgot it).
Get An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN).
"I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
|34" Scale 5-String|
I got one of those letters yesterday, and went online today to try to verify my identity. Unfortunately I did not have ANY of the required methods to confirm it with, so now I'm stuck with having to call them... and boy do I dread that!!!
It's amazing how helpful and streamlined government agencies can be , and then when things go wrong it can literally take intervention by your Congressman to unravel it .
My tax guy sets up my quarterly payments such that I generally have to pay a small amount at the end of the tax year. If I do get a refund, it’ll be so small I won’t worry about a delay.
Make me one with everything.
– Buddhist monk to a hot dog vendor
|I Deal In Lead|
I set up my taxes this way around 40 years ago.
Never could see giving the government an interest free loan for a half year.
We e-filed in Feb. Got our state refund in a week or so and the third stimulus direct deposited. Federal refund is nowhere to be seen. The Where’s my refund app has said “ still being processed” for 7 weeks now.
Never had an e-filed claim go this long. My concern is that I didn’t receive or missed a communication attempt by the IRS. I haven’t found a phone number that will put me thru to a human yet. Don’t know what the problem is.
Ha! We've been e-filing through our tax guy for years and years, so we didn't have the identity problem, but, since it is possible to have an on-line account I thought it would be a good idea to set it up.
First phase of setup: Enter full first and last name as it appears on tax returns, plus an email address. Did that, clicked "verify," and...
Database access error
Good job, Federal Government!
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living." -- Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher
"The dominant media is no more ``mainstream`` than leftists are liberals." -- me
Yeah it is a nightmare!! Luckily I have experience with many governmental sites and successfully accomplished the task. Remember your call is important to us!
|Powered by Social Strata|