Open letter to the IRS:

I sent in my 1040 as required. Some weeks later, I get a '5071C' Letter saying I must verify my identity before a refund can be issued.

Well, my address, email, phone number, and banking info have not changed in fifteen years. IRS has my bank account number for direct deposit, so what is there to verify? Oh, I see. They've outsourced the verification system to ID.me, who is new to the game, and doesn't realize I've been here 15 years.

I go online as requested, but the online system fails. I try on a different computer, different operating system, fails again. Try another day, fails again.

The letter gives me a number to call. I do. It says that due to high call volume, they are not able to take my call. I call again later. Same result. I call again two days later, same result. Fail.

If this was to be an actual identity theft case, someone would have needed to come to my home, take me prisoner, force me to reveal my email and banking credentials, stay in my home long enough to see the refund delivered to my bank account, log in to my bank as me, and transfer the money to somewhere they actually could withdraw it.

Hopefully, anyone can see how ridiculous that is.

If there was a change of address, I can see wanting to verify.

Maybe IRS could've included the bit of data of how long a taxpayer has been at the named address. Maybe it doesn't matter, ID.me gets paid for everyone they verify, so of course they'll want to verify everyone.

Capitalism at its finest; hurting people for profit.

In summary: If you're going to demand verification from people whose information has not changed in many years, your verification system ought to actually work.

Paul Schmittauer

from that Sandy Ridge in Meigs County

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