Here with The Oasis Firm, we do our best to help and make our clients’ lives easier. We’ve been checking your refund status and the only way for us to do that is by checking the IRS website. Unfortunately, there are clients who still have not gotten their refunds after more than 21 days. It usually takes within 21 days for you to receive your refund. What could be the cause of delay?

If you are one of these clients, you may be one of the growing taxpayers whose refund is on hold. Don’t worry though, it has nothing to do with auditing. Rather, it is IRS’ way of preventing fraud.

If you are flagged by the IRS, they will send you the “5071C” letter. Although it is not an audit letter, it is important to pay attention and take an important step right away to get your money. Otherwise, you won’t get your refund! And just a reminder, this notice only comes as a letter. You will not receive it via email or text.

IRS just needs to verify your identity. How do you do this? There are 2 ways. First is to verify your identity with the IRS online (not recommended though because there have been clients who tried it but did not work but hey, there’s no harm in trying!). Just go to their Identity Verification Service. It is available 24 hours. The second and better option is to call them. But of course, we are dealing with the IRS so expect to have a long wait on the phone. Once you get through, there will be several questions you need to answer.

What could be the possible questions? Mind you, it is just not about what your mother’s maiden name is. They dig much deeper than that just to verify your identity. It could be about a house you bought elsewhere and they will ask you questions like the location and the date it was bought. There will be a lot of questions to verify your identity. As much as we, The Oasis Firm, would want to represent you before the IRS, in this situation we cannot make the phone call for you because you are the only person who knows that personal and private information.

You might ask, “Who is the IRS targeting?” Well, it seems like these are people who have recently had life changes like getting out of jail, a move, marriage or divorce. But in some cases, it could be just random. One example is, if you had gotten divorced and got married again, there could be a possibility that their system would not believe that you got married again. So you have to answer questions to prove and verify your identity. 

So what happens if you do not verify or you cannot verify successfully? Well, if you do not verify, the IRS will not be able to process your tax return, issue funds, or credit any overpayments to your account. If you are not verified successfully, then you have to book an appointment with the IRS and bring the necessary documents.

Once your identity is successfully verified by the IRS, they will start to process your tax return and will receive it in 3 weeks, but this will likely come by mail and not a direct deposit to your bank account.

So please, once you receive the “5071c” letter, please make that important step!

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