Tax Professionals Should be Ready to Verify Their Identity when Calling the IRS

NSTPIdentity Validation, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Tax Professionals Should Be Ready to Verify Their Identity When Calling the IRS
Tax professionals, as well as taxpayers, who call the IRS will be asked to verify their identity. Being ready to verify identity before a call or visit can save taxpayers and tax professionals time by avoiding having to make multiple calls. Before calling, taxpayers and tax professionals should instead consider using IRS.gov to access resources like the IRS Service Guide to get faster answers to their tax questions. If a taxpayer decides to call, they should know that IRS phone assistors take great care to only discuss personal information with the taxpayer or someone the taxpayer authorizes to speak on their behalf. To make sure that taxpayers do not have to call back, the IRS reminds taxpayers to have the following information ready:
  • Social Security numbers (SSN) and birth dates for those who were named on the tax return
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter if the taxpayer has one in lieu of a 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 telephone assistors will only speak with the taxpayer or to the taxpayer’s 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)