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idverify.irs.gov

Is anyone familiar with this website? Is it a new IRS program to ward off identity theft? A client received a letter (form 5071C) asking to go to a website and verify identity. You do not have to login to the website. I am not sure that it is a secure site. You also cannot get to this verification program through the irs.gov site. There is a phone number on the letter to call. I have called (on a Saturday) and it is a direct line. I spoke with someone who could not tell me much about the program, ie; when it started, what information are they verifying, etc.

Letter 5071C states that there is more info needed to accurately process the return. This is my first time exposure to this and I am very sceptical.

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     The website resolves to ip address 166.123.216.245.  US Treasury "owns" the range that address falls within.

    The raw html code behind the website:

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">                           <!--googleoff: all-->       <!--[if lt IE 7]> <html lang="en-us" class="no-js lt-ie9 lt-ie8 lt-ie7 ie6"> <![endif]-->   <!--[if IE 7]> <html lang="en-us" class="no-js lt-ie9 lt-ie8 ie7"> <![endif]-->   <!--[if IE 8]> <html lang="en-us" class="no-js lt-ie9 ie8"> <![endif]-->   <!--[if gt IE 8]><!--> <html lang="en-us" class="no-js"> <!--<![endif]-->   <head>   <link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="/images/ie/favicon.ico">   <link href="/css/ie/style.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">   <script src="/js/ie/jquery-1.7.2.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>   <script src="/js/ie/lib/jquery.placeholder.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>   <script src="/js/ie/lib/jquery.uniform.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>   <script src="/js/ie/plugins.js" type="text/javascript"></script>   <script src="/js/ie/script.js" type="text/javascript"></script>   <script src="/js/ie/popup.js" type="text/javascript"></script>   <script src="/js/ie/button.js" type="text/javascript"></script>       <meta name="ROBOTS" content="NONE">   <meta name="GOOGLEBOT" content="NOARCHIVE">   <meta http-equiv="PRAGMA" content="NO-CACHE">   <meta http-equiv="Content-Script-Type" content="text/javascript">   <meta name="content-type" content="Channel Page"/>   <meta name="irsStandard-type" content=""/>       <!--googleon: all-->   <title>Welcome to the IRS Identity Verification Service</title>   <!--googleoff: all-->       <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />   </head>       <body onLoad="alert('THIS U.S. GOVERNMENT SYSTEM IS FOR AUTHORIZED USE ONLY! Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring, interception, recording, reading, copying or capturing by authorized personnel of all activities. There is no right to privacy in this system. Unauthorized use of this system is prohibited and subject to criminal and civil penalties, including all penalties applicable to willful unauthorized access (UNAX) or inspection of taxpayer records (under 18 U.S.C. 1030 and 26 U.S.C. 7213A and 26 U.S.C. 7431).')">           <div class="container_10">       <div class="band identityaction">   <div>   <div class="identity">   <div>   <img src="/images/ie/logo.jpg" title="IRS Logo" alt="IRS Logo">   </div>   </div>           </div>   </div>               <div id="ie_content">       <div id="content" class="grid_8 omega"><div><div class="wysiwyg">   <div class="tools">   <script>document.write("<span onclick=\"javascript:window.print()\" class=\"print\" title=\"Print\"></span>&#x0020;&#x007C;&#x0020;");</script><noscript></noscript><a href="http://www.irs.gov" title="IRS Gov">Exit</a>   </div>   <h1 style="margin-left:-10px;">Identity Verification Service</h1><br />       </div></div></div>   <form name="welcomeForm" action="/IE/e-authenticate/submitWelcome.action" method="post" onsubmit="disableButtons()">       <p>You are visiting this service because you received an IRS 4883C or 5071C letter. The IRS needs more information from you to process your tax return accurately. You will be asked a series of questions about your identity and tax return history. </p>   <p>If you have not received a 4883C or 5071C letter (or if you have other questions about your tax return), continue on to the <a href="http://www.irs.gov">IRS homepage.</a></p>       <h3 style="margin-bottom:10px;">How It Works</h3>   <p>You will be asked for contact information we will use to verify your identity. You will also be asked multiple-choice questions generated by an independent, secure identity assurance service. This service uses non-governmental information to create the questions that only you are likely to know. The information you give us will be checked against your records to protect you from identity theft.</p>       <h3 style="margin-bottom:10px;">What You Will Need</h3>   <ul>   <li>Your name, date of birth, and contact information</li>   <li>Your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number</li>   <li>Your 2012 tax return. You may be asked to verify information from your return, including your <script>document.write("<a href=\"agi-popup.do\" onclick=\"return popup(this,'AGI')\" style=\"text-decoration: none; border-bottom: 1px dashed\">adjusted gross income</a>")</script><noscript><a href="agi-popup.do" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: none; border-bottom: 1px dashed">adjusted gross income</a></noscript></li>   </ul>       <noscript><br/><br/><p>THIS U.S. GOVERNMENT SYSTEM IS FOR AUTHORIZED USE ONLY! Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring, interception, recording, reading, copying or capturing by authorized personnel of all activities. There is no right to privacy in this system. Unauthorized use of this system is prohibited and subject to criminal and civil penalties, including all penalties applicable to willful unauthorized access (UNAX) or inspection of taxpayer records (under 18 U.S.C. 1030 and 26 U.S.C. 7213A and 26 U.S.C. 7431).</p></noscript>       <br/><br/>   <input type="submit" class="submit_next" value="START" />   </form>   </div>       <br/><br/>   <div class="band anchor"><div>   <div class="navsitemap">   <div style="text-align: center;"><!-- Start of Footer/Sitemap type List -->   <script>document.write("<a href=\"privacy-notice-popup.do\" onclick=\"return popup(this,'PrivacyNotice')\" title=\"Privacy Notice\">Privacy Notice</a>");</script>   <noscript><a href="privacy-notice-popup.do" target="_blank" title="Privacy Notice">Privacy Notice</a></noscript>   </div>   </div>   <!--googleoff: all-->   </div><div class="legal"><p></p></div></div>       </div>   </body>  

    </html>

    No funky redirection, no css, no posting to weird sites.  It appears legit or at least nonmalicious.  Not to say the Treasury dept hasn't been guilty of serving malware through java exploits, but I don't think this is one...

     

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      The IRS specifically states that they will NEVER ask a taxpayer to input information over the internet concerning a tax return.

       

      Edit:  I would send a copy of the letter to the IRS and ask for an explaination.  They would probably like to see it.

      • I am aware that the IRS will never contact you by way of email or the internet but, even on their website, they ask you to input information about your SS# and filing status on "where's my refund". The original contact was by letter but, the letter is asking you to go to a particular website (idverify.irs.gov) to verify your identity. I have googled 5071C and most of the responses are from the Turbo Tax forum. I was hoping that another tax professional was familiar with this procedure. Since the client was in my office while I investigated the website, I had them sign form 2848 so I can get some answers about their 2012 return and find out if the site is legit. I will take it up with the IRS on Monday.
      •  I have to say it looks legit and appears to be a secure site.
      • I agree with Tilt,  it LOOKS legit.  I'm not sure they can get a .GOV site if they're not a government branch.  I'd call the IRS local branch and ask (not that they'll necessarily know.) FYI:  The official site to report ID theft is www.IC3.gov.  It's a part of  the  FBI and another government agency. 
      • Google shows several Facebook comments from people who claim they were talking to the IRS and the IRS agent told them they would be receiving the 5071C. Please keep us updated on what you find out on Monday.
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      Google "Letter 5071C."  You pays your money and you takes your choice.  Can't find a 5071C by searching the IRS website.

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        Sue - It doesn't look legit to me.  I also couldn't find anything at Google and wouldn't trust it being from the IRS, when you can't find any info about it on the IRS site or any other legit site.

        EDIT:  I was referring to my search at Google.  However, when actually going to that URL, it does look legit.   So, I don't know.  I've never heard of it, but with the URL ending in irs.gov, it seems legit.

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          The IRS checks with the Social Security Administration for a name and number match.

          The IRS has repeatedly said in newsletters to NEVER REPLY  to a request for verification of your identy. The IRS said that such requests are for the purpose of obtaining your personal information,

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            Something with this seems weird, certainly does not seem to follow normal IRS procedure. It passes my virus muster, but my computer does not want to display some things which is weird for IRS site. The exit button takes you back to an IRS homepage, but it does not flow like IRS site normally does, am extremely skeptical as well.

            Then there is common sense logic here, if you filed a fraudulent return, how is this going to prove anything.?

            EDIT-OK click privacy notice, says controlled and operated by third party. Something definitely fishy, I am voting scam, but a very good one. You say a letter ? Documented this was a phishing scam previously 

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              It appears that the skepticism (healthy) comes only from unfamiliarity with the program.  There's nothing else about it that raises any red flags for me.

              • No qualifiers to get in ? When does IRS send you to third party site without notification. URL has a /IE at the end if you run search. Flow back and forth is unusual. IRS sites again usually flash leaving and entrance notices with third parties, this one doesn't "return to IRS site"
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              Folks if you get the full URL-this has a domain of do at the end. That would be the Dominican Republic No doubt in my mind this is a scam

              FWIW

              http://phishing.vcu.edu/how-to-identify-scams/

              • I could be wrong, but I think the country code ("d o"), is DIRECTLY behind the 'dot gov' or .dot com'.  The 'do' at the end MIGHT not mean anything.
              • That's exactly how you "hide" it, see the post above, you read web addresses backwards to determine origin. The /IE that I got searching is evidently a truncation tool to shorten addresses. Also when I flipped through their pages the icon marker at the top kept changing, IRS,TD(treasury Direct), the pages themselves are different sources
              • Which programming language has extension .do http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5973505/which-programming-language-has-extension-do
              • I don't agree with you TaxGuy.  Your link point to an EMAIL address.  For an email address, the part after the @ is essentially the website address, which in the link shows a ".do". I still think that the ".do" on this mystery webpage has nothing to do with the country code.  
              • .do http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.do
              •  Yea, the ".do" is not a domain.  It's a programming extension of some sort.  More info about the .do extension can be found in the links above.
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              Here's a link to a page at the IRS that lists all the letters they send out:


              Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter

              http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Understanding-Your-IRS-Notice-or-Letter

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              this is crazy to me also

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                I would be leary of it

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