The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers and tax professionals that they will be asked to verify their identities if they call the IRS. This is part of the agency’s efforts to keep taxpayer data secure from identity thieves. Days before and after Presidents Day mark the peak period for taxpayer phone calls to the IRS. To avoid the rush, callers should be prepared to verify their identities if they need to call the agency.
IRS call center professionals take great care to make certain that they only discuss personal information with the taxpayer or someone the taxpayer authorizes to speak on their behalf. To ensure that taxpayers do not have to call back, the IRS reminds taxpayers to have the following documents ready:
- 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.