IRS Identity Review and Validation Options – Phone and Online – to Reduce Refund Payment Delays

34 comments

You filed your return in a timely manner and were waiting for your refund to be sent within the standard timeline that IRS promises. But alas, it has been much longer than that and you are wondering, “Where is my DAMN refund!” In a lot of recent cases, it appears that the IRS is delaying refund processing and payments by several weeks because they are spending a lot more time validating tax payer identities. But a lot of people are wondering how this works and how they can quickly validate their identities with the IRS to get their refunds as soon as possible. Here’s how.


IRS Identity Validation Process

You have a few options to validate your identity, which you should also see on the WMR tool if you are expecting a refund.

  • Letter 5071C is mailed through the USPS to the address provided on the tax return. It asks taxpayers to verify their identities in order for the IRS to complete processing of the returns. The letter will provide two options -idverify.irs.gov site or a toll-free number – to confirm whether or not they filed the return.
  • (Fastest way) Go online and use the IRS Identity Verification Service website – idverify.irs.gov . You should only go to this website after receiving Letter 5071C because it will contain a unique case number to expedite the verification process.
  • Call the IRS. You can call the IRS as well (see numbers at the end of this post) to check if you refund is held up for identity  verification. They will likely direct you to the idverify website or ask you to wait for the 5071C letter

Also beware online scams – The IRS will never request identity verification information via email nor will the IRS call a taxpayer directly prior to sending the 5071C letter. If you get a call from someone who says they are from the IRS, it is likely a scam unless they can provide you with a specific letter 5071C  case number (found in the upper corner of the letter)

Per the IRS you will need the following to validate or confirm your identity. This must match what you provided on your most recent tax return:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN)
  • Date of Birth
  • Filing Status
  • Mailing Address
  • Third Party Verification Questions such as prior address, W2 information, mortgage information, etc., that only you should know.
  • You must also provide us with a valid email address, which the IRS will confirm and use to notify you if your registration information changes.

Once the identity is verified, the taxpayers can confirm whether or not they filed the return in question. This will resume processing of the tax return and any applicable refunds.


Here is sampling of reader comments who are seeing delays in getting their refunds due to additional identity checks, plus some tips on how to get some insight into where the status of your refund.

  • Real-mom – I filed on 2/1, was accepted in 30 minutes, and still stuck on accepted! Has anyone received their refund WITHOUT their status changing? Still sitting at accepted, which seems to be happening a lot. My question is: has anyone actually RECEIVED their refund without having any movement on WMR?
  • Natalie – H&R Block sent me an email on Feb. 5th stating the IRS accepted my return. However, when I checked the IRS website, it said it was processing. Today it’s the 12th and it’s still on processing status. I don’t understand why it’s taking so long, it’s never taken this long. Anyone else having this issue?
  • So I called the IRS again today, every time I call I get more info. So certain people get selected for manual review, I was one of them. It was processed and on the 27th went into review. They have 45 days to process from that date. But for some reason they don’t need any additional information. Why? If you are reviewing my return then I assume something is wrong, but nothing is wrong? I don’t understand!!!! So mad right now!!
  • Mary – I filled the same day and got accepted the same day!!! Im in the same position as you are!!! I been at the 1 bar for many days! People who filed after me, have already got their refund! Very Frustrating
  • I called the IRS because i did not receive my refund on 2/10/16 and i had to call and verify my identity. After i called and verified my identity the lady said it could be nine weeks before i receive my refund now and it’s direct deposit
  • Alex M – Mine got accepted on 01/22/16 and it has been 20 days. It does not show the bar on where’s my refund nor a date. Just says that it is still being processed and a date will be available soon. I called the IRS and they said that I had to verify my identity and had to call another number and verify some information and was put on hold about 3 times. Then said it had been verified and it would take 9 weeks for me to get my refund. She said it would still be deposited in my bank account at that time. She said it might not take 9 weeks but no less than 2 weeks. I wish I would have known sooner so I could have called and had it sent quicker. She said they pulled random people or it was because they did have to verify your identity
  • Dave – filed on 2/2 and was accepted same day. WMR has not moved past received/processing since then. Im only getting 4k back…Should I be concerned? Ive heard of folks that filed around the same date already getting theirs..I was thinking I would already have at least a DDD.
  • Lauren Ashley – I just called and spoke with someone who gathered my information, put me on hold for 4 minutes and then came back and told me that “it’s just still processing, that’s the only thing I’m seeing” and to call back in 1.5-2 weeks if I don’t see any change in “Where’s My Refund?” I am so annoyed. I filed on January 19th and the status has never changed from “Processing” but my bars randomly disappeared over a week ago. I am so anxious.

Some comments that provides solutions and tips/tricks to try and get more information on your refund

  • Katie – I was finally able to talk to a real person. The number 800-829-0582 ext:652 does work. Takes about 10 minutes to get someone. Looks like I had to verify my identity for no real reason. I was transferred to number 800-830-5084 and was put on hold for 30 minutes. All they did was ask questions from my credit report and 2014/2015 taxes. I was cleared but they said it would take up a “max” of 9 weeks to see my return. I asked how I could check my statues and was told to check WMR but to give it a few days. Has anyone on here already received a refund after having to verify? I’m not in a rush for my money but it sure would be nice.
    • Tax Payer Teed – Happened to me & my ex last year. After they drilled him about old cars & previous addresses he took matters into my own hands. He overnighted a copy of his driver’s licenses, original birth certificate, vehicle registration, insurance cards, payroll stubs, our children’s birth certificates & ss cards along with my info just in case. This happened on a Thursday but to our surprise his refund was in the mail box that following Wednesday. Not a bad turn around considering their time frame. I should have followed his lead but i figured whats the use they said that they have cleared up my identity. Yet my check came 6 weeks later. It may or may not make a difference in your situation but its worth a try.
    • Samuel –  In my case I filed on the 25th and had no progress, so I called yesterday and found out that I did have to verify my identity and would have gone no further until completed. In my case my ID was stolen last year so that might have something to do with it, not sure. I never received any notification that I needed to verify, maybe they don’t send out the letters until the 21 days have passed. I just know from this site and others that many are having to verify and they also did not get any verification. . I just suggest those of you who are waiting for the bar to move from accepted to approved and filed around my time(Jan 25th) to be proactive if you are heeding the refund.
  • Jen – I already got my money.. Thank God!! I filed H&R Block online on 1/30.. Got approved on 2/5.. Money was in my bank on 2/10 at 7am.. WMR never moved from approved either. So just be patient guys, IRS has really changed a lot with processing refunds this year.. Millions of people were pulled for review & identity verification this year which will cause a 4-6 week delay on getting your money.. It sucks but that’s what majority of Americans are experiencing this tax year.. It’s just a looonngg waiting game at this point.. Wish you all the best!! God bless!
  • Judy – For anyone concerned, I am in Philly and I filed with TT on 1/29/16 and was accepted the same day, I finally received a DD of 1/10/16 on 1/10/16…still no refund. I just got off the phone with the IRS to find out if I possibly had to verify my ID, this is what they told me, If your refund was accepted than everything is okay, its just taking longer on account of a delay due to verification, have patience, you will get it. I was also told you can’t go by what TT is saying and unfortunately they are issues with both the WMR tool and their 800 hotline, so you can’t go by that either, sadly its a waiting at this point. I was also told very clearly that if for any reason you are still at received but believe you should have gotten it by now than most likely there is a problem with them being able to identify you due to a breach that took place in early January and your data was compromised, which means you will have to verify your ID for them to release your funds. You can do this by calling 1-800-830-5084. So basically if you have been accepted everything is fine, you just have to wait but if you’re still at received after some time then that means they’re having a problem identifying you and if that’s the case, unfortunately you will have to wait 6-8 weeks for your refund.I know how frustrating this is for all of you, as I am still waiting as well. This is the first time I was able to get some clear info on what is actually happening, while I feel better knowing that mine has been accepted, I feel horrible for all of those still stuck at received on account of what that means. If you have been accepted, you are all good, they’re just asking that we have patience, it will come. But for those of you at received I suggest you call the number above to verify your identity immediately rather than waiting for the IRS to notify you because who knows how long that would take. I hope this helps clear it up for some of you, good luck!
  • saffronsky – HI all, I just got off the phone with a very nice lady at IRS.My status bar has been gone over a week. Filed Jan 31st with TT, accepted Feb 1st. I was very very sweet on the phone and told her it was my birthday (yesterday) and she would make my year if she could help me. She did say that in her system it shows being accepted on Feb 2nd instead of Feb 1st that TT told me. I told a little fib that last night I saw a message to call and that this morning that message was gone so I wanted to call and just check. She asked all the info, names, social, address ect. She put me on hold for about 3 min. Came back and said that my account is credited meaning that it looks like everything has processed and it is just waiting for a DDD. She said there is no offsets or debts that she could see. (which was weird because I am pretty sure my husband owes from last year) I asked if it was possible that I would have my DD tomorrow and she said yes possible but could not confirm. She also said to not go by the status bar going away or being there, it is a computer system and to rest assured my refund has been processed, looks like it has been credited the full amount I had filed and that I should receive refund any day now. I wish I had better news. I have to register my cars by next week and could really use the funds. I hope this helps anyone!
  • Rockermomliz- Just talked to my tax guy, whom we’ve been with for 4 years now. Every year we would get our refund in less than 2 weeks max. It usually would just take 9 days (including weekends). We filed on the 23rd so i was expecting a refund by early Feb. The 3rd being the latest. With all the mishaps and misfortunes that have happened this year, along with ‘budget cuts’ and not having enough ‘man power’, I was told that thankfully, our refund was not affected, by the Identity thefts or getting ‘re synced’/stacked and had to wait until they got back to the pile’..however, even though we were not one that was affected, our wait time is longer and I should most definitely see our refund next week. I’m just glad, because while my case isn’t unique (4 kids, 2 w-2’s) you never know. So those that filed around my time frame, and haven’t seen anything yet, know that you are not alone. Obviously its taking longer than usual, and I am one of those that have a savings of the bare minimum right now, and I can really use it, (8 year old might’ve broke his foot last night) but just TRY to be positive. Reach out to people; call and call until you get answers. I was never one to really rely on WMR as every year it wouldn’t really move much, and we would receive our checks DD and it would not mention that the check was sent, much less approved. It’s your money, and you have a right to demand it back; we all worked for it, and deserve to get it without all this trouble, but as it is with life, nothing comes easy, sad but true. Patience is hard to acquire in dire times but, in the end, I pray that it will all work out for you all. I’ve been looking at this ‘chat’ for about 2 weeks and it helped me out and I thank everyone involved. Helps to know your not alone.

Feel free to leave a comment on your experience or if you have any further questions

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda kincaid March 25

I need my verification letter email to me

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Rosemarie A Sharpe March 20

I called the IRS today because it never takes this long and I did kinda tell a small lie to get the info I needed the lady told i had been randomly selected for review and need to verify my identity and to wait two week for my letter does it really take the whole two weeks or can I do something to speed up the process

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omar abdo March 20

hello,
What is mean 5747C letter ? ….. I already calling them and got appointment ? Thank you for your advise ?

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Hidey March 18

I filed on the 5th of Feb didn’t no I had to verify my identity. I did that on the 28th of feb my bar still saying that its a delay on my refund how long does it take to get my refund back they say 9 weeks but people have told me 3 weeks it will b 3 weeks next week I just hope I can get it back soon I’m a single mother of 5 n I need my money

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Sankar March 16

hi, i have filed fed tax returns on Jan26th in IRS office along with applying new ITIN for my wife. ITIN was received on Feb16th. Where as I’m still waiting for an update on my refund. When i check online with right details, it is saying – Can not provide any information. I called IRS and provided all my details to the person who took my call. After 10 minutes of hold (he must have been checked IRS database), he told me that he couldn’t find any information, and he asked me to wait for another one or two weeks to get update on refund. I’m confused and thinking if i need to submit tax returns through online as i have got ITIN already.
Can someone tell me what i need to do now?

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Patricia Coronado March 14

I filed my taxes on Jan 29th. Got a letter in the mail saying I had to verify who I was. Which I already did on March 8th. My question is. How much longer do I have to wait for my Refund. Does it really take 9 weeks? That’s BS. I’ve been waiting almost two months. Please help ,anyone with the same situation?

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Lachandra N Mcclelland March 23

I’m n the same situation yea somebody help

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Teresa March 3

I just got off the phone with the Irs to verify my path act for 2016 refund and I would like to know how much longer must I wait??? Has anyone gotten this far?? Has anyone received their refund after verifying with the IRS their identity???? Please lmk how long I must wait I’ve already waited 6 weeks to just verify my identity now another wait??? How long? Please help……

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christi salmasi March 7

i verified identity and still have not recieved a DD date!! its been 2 weeks since i talked to them..

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Teresa March 3

I just verified my path act letter with the Irs by phoning them and waiting on hold… now that I did this how much longer with it take before I receive my refund??? Does anyone know? Or has anyone gone this far and received their refund thus far???? Please answer?

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mary March 13

hello I received my verification letter in the mail last Friday and I was on hold for at least 2 hours .but I did get my id verified she said it could take up to 45 days to get my refund. I will be glad when I do I have bills to pay. Its just a waiting game.

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Mae March 1

It’s been more than 21 days since my tax return was received by IRS. Call IRS and lady said my return didn’t go through, what ever that mean, and they will have to try and send it through again. She said it will take two weeks and if it doesn’t get accepted they will contact me. I asked her if I will be getting a letter. She said I will not be getting a letter. I am still confused.

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Danielle Piccolo March 1

I just called regarding the hold up on my tax return as well. I filed it at the end of January, the man on the phone got argumentative, i asked him if we could move forward, he hung up .. Great customer service.

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Darren Mcdowell February 15

I don’t know what the hell is going On with my Refund I file electronically on the 28th it was accepted I got my State tax last week what I need to know is if your State Refund already made it to your Bank Do that suppose to mean your Federal checked out okay with the IRS…they wouldn’t give your State if something is wrong with your Federal ..is status on my federal and it keeps telling me I’m putting in the wrong information & I know that I’m Not..what do this Mean?

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Hollywood February 18

Not necessarily State and Federal are two totally separate entities not processed in the same place. I got my state last year like 2 weeks after i filed but my federal went under review and it just got released yesterday for 2015 a whole year later. So even though your have to enter information from your federal return on your state and vice versa they are not processed by the same people. This year Irs processing has changed alot with the new laws. If you are not getting the refund status on the where’s my refund website I suggest calling and trying to get to a live person alot of times they have more info. You could need to do an identity verification letter or if federal is saying you are putting in incorrect information you may need to check to make sure you are using the right filing status (single, hoh married etc) and also the exact refund amount. If the info is correct and its still saying re enter more than likely that means its still pending

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barbara mvmunn February 6

i filed on 1-3 17 was excepted on 1-6 17 on 2 4 17 received letter from I R S to call and verify my identity did first thing 2-6-17 got threw it almost all the way and got disconnected had to call back go threw it all over again after many times put on hold 75 minutes later i was told everything was ok and that i would receive a letter or my refund with in 9 weeks. it took them a month to let me no this. he said i was good to go so why may i receive a letter?

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Boogsmom22 February 9

Why cant I verify without the letter. I spoke with someone today that said yes, I need to verify but he would not do it because I havent gotten a letter

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Lola March 19

Because the letter has a code of numbers that they aske for on it. So that’s why you need the letter. I got the letter last week and verified

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rody rodman May 18

Helpful discussion , I learned a lot from the analysis ! Does anyone know where my business can find a template IRS 14039 form to edit ?

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Cindy May 2

Filed on 2/9 and was accepted on 2/10. WMR showed the accepted bar but then it disapeared a couple if weeks later. Right after the 21 day mark we received the dreaded “ID Verify” letter in the mail. It wouldn’t let me do it on their site so I called in to verify via phone. Unfortunately the lady said my husband got his Mother’s maiden name wrong, which is crazy cause I had her on speaker and he was correct. I think she may have made a mistake some how. Well since he got the question wrong we had to travel 6 hours round trip to our local office. Thankfully, our identity was finally verfied on March 4th. She said it will take up to nine weeks before we would receive our refund. I honestly did not thank it would take that long. This Friday, May 6th will be the 9th week since we were verified and still no refund! I’ve called a few times and they say it’s still being processed and it showed we were verified on the 4th of March! It’s been 81 days today since my return was accepted! 81 LONG days! Whenever I check WMR I keep getting the heart sinking “We’re still processing your return and a date will be given once complete”. I asked the irs rep on Friday “so if I don’t get our refund by next Friday do I just call back?” And she just said “yes”. What the heck? I feel like I’m the only one who has had to wait this long! I have looked all over the net and can’t find out if others received their refund on or after the 9 week wait time? It sucks not knowing and I really feel in my heart that when Friday rolls around my bank balance will go unchanged. Ibwould love to hear from anyone who has or is going through the same thing as me. Any help is truly appreciated and if you are still waiting good luck!

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Ays July 7

Hey Cindy, did you get your refund? I am in the same situation as you. It has been 12 weeks after I verified my ID. Still nothing back.

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Teresa March 3

Hello. Cindy,
Yes I am in the sam boat, however when I spoke to the Irs rep I made sure I was very pleasant in attempts to receive inside info, about the only thing that was made clear to me is that 9 week mark is from the date of verifying our identity:((( yes, bullcrp it is I know and I am hoping it’s up to 9 weeks so I asked is it up to nine weeks ???? She replied I’m sorry it is nine weeks !!!!!! Wth!!!!!! I am not being forged by a Russian living in Russia !!! That’s what this is all about so says the Irs rep… that they had u covered a scam in Russia??? Okay so once we r verified then wipe us off that list !!!!!

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Renay March 23

What do they ask when you go down there?What info do you have to take?

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Katrinka March 21

I filed Jan 14 got accepted Jan 19 I started to wonder what was taking so long for me to recieve my refund until i got a letter in the mail at the end of february i verified my identity March 9 it has already been 3 weeks how long will it bw before i recieve my tax return???

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Lisa March 5

What about STATE refunds? (I lived in NE the first part of 2015, then moved to PA) I E-Filed via TT on 2/2/16 and my returns were all accepted on 2/2/16. My Fed was DD on 2/10, I owe for PA, I’m due a refund from Nebraska, yet still have NOT received my refund from Nebraska state. The state’s WMR site says my returned was received and I should receive my refund w/I 7-21 days. Today is 3/5/16 and still nothing! The phone #’s given to check do not work either.

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I won\'t my money March 1

I filed my taxes on the 1/13/16 n didn’t find out til after 21 days that I had to confirm identity… I did that on 1/9/16 n they said they didn’t process mine til the 2/19/16 …do I’m still stuck n processing no other info n still no date never had this problem n I’m 2 pissd don’t no what to do ….its march help help help plz I need my money forget that…. They said I don’t have to do n e thing else don’t seem like it…still don’t hav my money

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Adrian February 29

I filed on 1/25/2016 with turbo tax. It was accepted and would have my return in 21 days. I got a letter from the irs on my identity. So I called and took care of it the same day. Now they said it could take up to nine weeks. It has been 2 weeks and still nothing. Why is it taking so long.

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Sheila Jones February 28

I filed January 27th had one bar and tax topic 152. On Feb 6th that went away with a generic message refund is processing a date will be provided when available. Called irs on my 21st day to be told by a very nasty lady wait 6 to 8 weeks i had eic and education credits and that was not going to be processed til may. She told me the irs was cracking down and i needed to wait. She told me she saw no latter’s being sent out to me. Not satisfied with that i called the tax advocate line got a really nice guy he got my information placed me on hold came back to the phone and asked me did i receive a letter. I said no because i didn’t. Informed me that i needed to id verify that nothing wrong with my return. I verified online after not being able to get through on the phone on the 18th. Called irs monday the 22nd to make sure the verify was received was told it was and case closed. Woke up saturday morning to a dd of 3/2. Good luck everyone. I never waited more than a week to receive my refund. God bless u all

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Andy (Author) February 28

Thanks for the update Sheila. Glad you finally got the DD after your perseverance.

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Sandra March 24

What number did you call. Cause I’m in the same both .I was accepted on February 22 .did my identity on line on March 10 and it said congrats you have completed your identity. But it still being processed. What could that be

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Sharonda Brewer March 16

What site did u go to to verify your identity

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Alicia February 27

The IRS accepted my return on the 5 I had a refund date on feb and it have change to its a delay and yes I do got identify theft but why give me a date and take it away

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walter February 25

Evening everyone,

I can see the frustration with the delays due to the verification process. However, I am on the other side of the fence. I have received a notice from both the IRS and my state asking me to verify my identity before they continue processing my returns. The funny thing is I was still waiting for my 401k withdraw paperwork from my previous employer and therefor I still haven’t filed my return for this year. I went online to both my state and federal agencies, proved my identity and rejected both returns. I must now file using the “paper” method. While this is going to delay my return I a happy they caught it before sending out a refund. The process to fix it once that happens is far worse. I will be mailing out both my personal and business returns this weekend now that I have the identity issue fixed. If this also happens to you make sure to file a police report, place an “Identity theft alert” on all 3 credit unions and contact your states Attorney Generals office asap. Best wishes to you all.

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Andy (Author) February 25

Thanks for the feedback Walter. Really got to hear the other perspective on this and shows that maybe what the IRS is doing is better in the bigger picture of things. While the 2 to 9 weeks delay due to extra ID checks is a pain for those waiting for a refund, the time to resolve incorrect refund distributions due to ID breaches could be much longer.

Good luck to you and hope you can get your paper return through with no issues.

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