Marquez resident Haldis Toppel received an IRS letter in the mail that she originally thought was a scam. She went the social media app Nextdoor to warn people about the scam, but instead learned the letter was legitimate.
Toppel also contacted Circling the News, so that it could alert others of her story: that receiving a letter from the IRS could be legitimate.
After her letter was printed on the app, Toppel received the following comments:
One person wrote: “This is not fake – I received the same letter a number of years ago. What has happened is someone tried to file a tax return pretending to be you in order to claim your refund. Here is the info from the IRS website click here.
A second person, a former Los Angeles prosecutor wrote: “the letter may in fact be genuine. Your best bet is to go to the IRS office to have them determine whether someone has acquired your personal information and used it to file a fraudulent ‘tax return’ perhaps to claim a refund. Please don’t ignore this, as it may result in more problems down the road.”
Yet another wrote: “I am a CPA, some clients got this letter, too. The IRS just wants to protect you from fraud. You need to call them back to verify it is you filed the taxes, not someone else.”
Someone wrote: “I also received this letter, and it was legit. Someone tried to file my return to collect a refund. The IRS had me fill out a ‘I was a victim of identity fraud form.’ I corroborated all this with my CPA.”
Another said, “It means that someone filed a second tax return using your social security number. You will have to verify that you are you. We just went through this process. It is a big pain in the neck, but it is not a hoax. Good luck.”
One accountant said they tell clients to watch for IRS notices and letters and if the IRS needs more information to verify an identity, the agency will mail a 4883C letter.
The accountant said, “if you received Letter 4883C, it is not fraud. It is a legitimate request, from the IRS, asking you to verify your identity. The letter will contain instructions to call the toll-free IRS Identity Verification telephone number 800-830-5084.”
Toppel said based on the information she received, she did call the IRS, waiting for more than hour to be connected to an operator. She ultimately learned that somebody had tried to file in her name.
“My thanks and heartfelt appreciation go to all who responded, and to those who recognized the letter and insisted that it was real,” Toppel said. “Maybe this will do some good to keep somebody from trashing such a letter.”
If you get a letter from the IRS, a resident can always check with an accountant or call the IRS directly.
Remember, the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.