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  • Melanie Mackenzie

IRS Letter 5447C

Updated: Sep 1

Understanding Your IRS Letter 5447C


You may be wondering why you have received IRS Letter 5447C. You are correct to check when it comes to safeguarding your personal identity information that may be requested via IRS Letter 5447C.


Clients are often surprised when they receive IRS Letter 5447C instead of an anticipated refund! Typically these Clients live overseas, and the Letter may have been triggered by something as simple as an address change, or by reporting foreign earned income that is not backed up in the IRS system e.g by a Form W-2 . The Letter 5447C is sent by the IRS as a safety check to make sure that the Taxpayer’s ID has not been stolen and a fraudulent tax return using their ID has been filed. The Letter 5447C typically asks the Taxpayer to contact the IRS either in writing or on the phone to verify certain details, such as the source of their income, their filing status, the amount of anticipated refund, address and so on, so that the IRS can in good faith process their tax return and release a refund.


If you didn't file a tax return:


Contact the IRS immediately and let them know that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft – if you are a Taxpayer residing overseas, the best way to reach the IRS is via their International Taxpayer Service Call Center


If you did file, call or write to verify your identity:


Call the IRS Identity Verification number on your letter. Have the following available when you call:

  • The 5447C letter

  • The income tax return referenced in the letter (Form 1040, 1040A, 1040-EZ,1040-PR, 1040-NR, etc.). Note: A Form W-2 or Form 1099 is not a tax return.

  • A previous year’s tax return, other than the year in the letter (Form 1040, 1040A, 1040-EZ,1040-PR, 1040-NR, etc.) Note: A Form W-2 or Form 1099 is not a tax return.

  • Supporting documents that you filed with each year’s income tax return (Form W-2, Form 1099, Schedule C or F, etc.).

  • The IRS may also ask for your date of birth and other personal information so that they can identify you.

If the IRS do not hear from you, they may not be able to process your return, issue refunds, or apply overpayments to next year’s estimated tax.


What happens after I call the IRS?


Once the IRS verify your identity and confirm you submitted the tax return, they’ll continue processing your return. It can take approximately nine weeks to process, however if you hear nothing and haven’t received your refund after 6 weeks, you could get in touch again at that point and request an update on your filing.

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