Benefits of obtaining an IRS Identity Protection PIN
Identity theft has become a serious problem especially when it comes to tax return filing. Fraudulent individuals often steal identities to file false tax returns and claim refunds before the rightful filers can do so.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, additional scams have become prevalent as fraudulent claims are made for government aid. Identity theft can be a nightmare to deal with if it happens to you, but there are some actions that can be taken to protect yourself! Check out this IRS video for more information, or see our summary below:
The IRS created the Identity Protection PIN program to protect those who had previously been victims of identity theft. This program is now available for all individuals to voluntarily opt into, as a proactive measure that you can take to protect yourself from tax-related identity theft.
The Identity Protection PIN is a six-digit number that is mailed to you each year as a CP01A notice, the number is used to verify your identity when you go to file your tax return for that year. This six-digit PIN can save a lot of time and headache should someone try to file a tax return using your personal information.
Obtaining the IP PIN is simple to do, even more so if you already have an online account with the IRS established. You can use the Get an IP PIN tool to obtain yours, which will be immediately revealed to you when the process is completed. If you already have an online account with the IRS then all you have to do is follow the link, sign into your account, and click the button to have an IP PIN assigned.
If you do not have an account with the IRS, then you can use the same link but will need to have the following information ready to prove your identity:
As previously alluded to, your IP PIN is valid for one year and the IRS will automatically mail a new IP PIN in January of each year going forward. The IP PIN is one additional piece of information that you will need to include with your tax return information each year and the IRS understands that is not for everybody. There will be an opt-out feature implemented by the IRS next year, so the decision you make is not permanent.
If you choose to opt into the IP PIN program make sure to be very careful to keep your IP PIN a secret, it should never be shared with anyone except for your tax preparer. Be aware of phone scams, the IRS will never call to request your IP PIN. Finally, if you move during the tax year, you will need to notify the IRS of your address change so that your PIN will come to the correct location without delay. Please reach out to our office if you need help with a change of address or for any other questions related to the Identity Protection PIN Program!