Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Identifying information to gather before calling the IRS

You’ve been on hold with the IRS for what seems like three days, and you’ve finally connected with a living, breathing human being! You’re probably feeling like you just won the lottery. Not so fast. All your patient waiting will have been for nothing if you don’t have the right identifying information the IRS is now requiring all callers have before they’ll disclose any personal information. So, whether you’re calling for yourself or a loved one, make sure you have the following ready to go for when an IRS agent picks up.

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You’ll need the following identifying information:

  • The Social Security numbers (SSN) and birth dates for whomever was named on the tax return
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter if there’s no social security number
  • The return’s filing status: single, head of household, married filing joint or married filing separate
  • The prior-year tax return. They may ask you questions regarding the last return you filed.
  • Any communications you’ve received from the IRS

If you’re calling about someone else’s return, you’ll not only need the items listed above, you’ll also need the information:

  • Verbal or written authorization from the owner of the account in question.
  • That person’s name, SSN or ITIN, tax period and tax forms filed
  • Preparer Tax Identification Number or PIN if someone else prepared the return
  • Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization Form 2848 or Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative forms which are current, completed and signed.

Have all this information in front of you before you call so you don’t have to spend the next three days calling them back. If you have any questions, please contact our Henry+Horne advisor.

Beth Hawley

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