In my last blog, we discussed what to do if you receive a Form 4737D from the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) instead of an expected state tax refund. As far as your federal refund goes, you may receive a similar form in lieu of refund, called the letter 5071C or 4883C from the IRS.

If you have received either of those forms from the IRS, here are a few things you need to know, and how your tax professional can help.

Protecting Taxpayers from Tax-Related Identity Theft

Tax-related identity theft has become more sophisticated in the last few years, and the IRS has taken steps to keep up with the times. One of the new steps is the newly enhanced Electronic Fraud Detection System (EFDS). In 2012 alone, the EFDS identified nearly 8 million potentially fraudulent tax returns.

If the EFDS has flagged your return for any potential issue, then your refund will be temporarily frozen and you will be issued a 5071C or letter 5883C to get more taxpayer information.

You may be asked to provide the IRS a copy of your last two years’ returns, call the taxpayer hotline at (800) 834-5084 or go to to help verify and establish your identity.

If you have prepared your own taxes you may have made a minor error, or it may be possible that you have a larger IRS compliance issue.

Your Tax Professional Has Additional Tools to Assist You

Before you act on your own behalf, your tax professional has additional methods and tools to help you. 

For one thing, he or she can call the number on your behalf and expedite any of your tax documents the IRS may need, thus potentially shortening the time you before you get your refund. Higher end accounting firms may bypass the fax system entirely and share documents digitally with the IRS, which can also move things along faster. In addition, your accountant can monitor when your refund might be on its way back and keep you updated.

If you have a larger IRS compliance issue, your accountant can walk you through the steps you need to take to get everything in order. If you are required to pay an additional tax amount and are experiencing an economic hardship, your accountant can also help you deal with the IRS.

Need to Know More About IRS Letters 5071C or 4833C?

It’s important not to panic when you receive either of these letters from the IRS. PDM’s tax experts can help advise you on the best course of action, act on your behalf to make sure you are in compliance and expedite any expected refund. Contact us; with our years of technical experience, advanced training, and cutting edge technology, we are your financial partner.