ALL TAXPAYERS NOW ELIGIBLE FOR IDENTITY PROTECTION PINS
The Internal Revenue Service launched the Identity Protection PIN program (IP PIN) nearly a decade ago to protect confirmed identity theft victims from ongoing tax-related fraud. In recent years, the IRS expanded the program to specific states where taxpayers could voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program. Now, the voluntary program has expanded to all taxpayers who can verify their identities.
The IP PIN is a six-digit code known only to the taxpayer and the IRS. It helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns using a taxpayers’ personally identifiable information. “This is a way to, in essence, lock your tax account, and the IP PIN serves as the key to opening that account,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Electronic returns that do not contain the correct IP PIN will be rejected, and paper returns will go through additional scrutiny for fraud.”
Taxpayers who want an IP PIN for 2021 should go to IRS.gov/IPPIN and use the “Get an IP PIN” tool. This online process will require taxpayers to verify their identities using the Secure Access authentication process if they do not already have an IRS account. See IRS.gov/SecureAccess for what information you need to be successful. Once taxpayers have authenticated their identities, their 2021 IP PIN will immediately be revealed to them. All taxpayers are encouraged to first use the online IP PIN tool to obtain their IP PIN.
Taxpayers who cannot verify their identities online have another option. Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less may complete Form 15227 PDF and mail or fax it to the IRS. An IRS customer service representative will contact the taxpayer and verify their identities by phone. Taxpayers should have their prior-year tax return at hand for the verification process. Taxpayers who verify their identities through this process will have an IP PIN mailed to them the following tax year. Once in the program, the IP PIN will be mailed to these taxpayers each year.
Taxpayers who cannot verify their identities online or by phone and who are ineligible for filing Form 15227, can contact the IRS and make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center to verify their identities in person. Taxpayers should bring two forms of identification, including one government-issued picture identification. Taxpayers who verify their identities through the in-person process will have an IP PIN mailed to them within three weeks. Once in the program, the IP PIN will be mailed to these taxpayers each year.
Here are a few more key things to know about the IP PIN program:
- An IP PIN is valid for one calendar year
- You must obtain a new IP PIN each filing season
- The Correct IP PIN must be included on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays
- Never share your IP PIN with anyone but your trusted tax provider. The IRS will never call, text, or email requesting your IP PIN
- There is currently no opt-out option for this program, but the IRS is working on one for 2022
If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact us.