The other day a client came to the office so that Steve could assist him as he called the IRS in response to letter 5447C request for identification verification. The client’s English was weak, and his familiarity with IRS bureaucracy was even weaker, so he wanted some support as he made the call.
Here’s a review of what happened:
- The rep requested the tax year and control number on the 5447C letter
- Questions on the PREVIOUS tax year:
- Primary taxpayer name and social security number
- Complete address (including the postal code)
- Spouse name and social security number
- Chilren’s names and social security number
- Dates of birth – everyone
- Filing status (single/married/head of house hold/ or married filing separately – as marked on form 1040)
- Number of dependents
- Primary source of income
- Note – be sure to mention US based income even if the amounts are small because the IRS monitors these amounts and wants you to confirm what they see. Also mention that your salary is earned in Israel and reported on form 106 (change country and form as appropriate).
- Questions on the CURRENT year:
- Repetition of many of the same questions as above.
- Amount on line 7
- Amount on line 10
- Amount of refund
The IRS representative then put the client on hold for five minutes and then declared that he passed the test. The refund is expected to be released in 9 weeks.
In most cases, this is indeed what happens. But keep in mind that sometimes the IRS still refuses to release the refund despite passing the telephone interview. When this happens they unfortunately do not send any kind of notice. You only find out when you call them back and the representative says something along the lines of “gee, don’t know what happened here but someone decided that we cannot send you your refund yet.”
In cases where you do not get the desired result from the telephone interview, then you will need to submit the 1040 by paper snail mail. This means that you print out the entire 1040 and supporting schedules, attach supporting documents (generally a translation of form 106), and also ID documents including copies of US passports and social security cards. If you end up going this route, then allow six months for results (this is the slow but dependable route). If all else fails (phone calls, paper submission, and six months of patience, and more phone calls), then you will need to request assistance from the taxpayer advocate’s office.
Hope this helps! Let us know what happens in the comments below.