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IP PIN: A New Way to Protect Your Identity with the IRS

In years past, the IRS has assigned an Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) to taxpayers who believed their identity had been compromised. An IP PIN is a 6-digit code assigned by the IRS to verify a taxpayer’s identity when accepting an electronic or paper tax return. The 6-digit code is designed to help prevent the misuse of Social Security numbers on fraudulent federal income tax returns. The IRS has announced that the Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program will be offered to all taxpayers who can properly verify their identities beginning in January of 2021.

The Secure Access Get An IP PIN tool is the fastest way to obtain an IP PIN and can be found at IRS.gov/IPPIN and it immediately displays the taxpayer’s IP PIN. It should be noted that the online tool uses a rigorous authentication process to verify that person attempting to obtain the IP PIN is the legitimate taxpayer. To view the requirements for the Secure Access “Get IP PIN” tool, please visit IRS.gov/SecureAccess.

Here’s what taxpayers need to know about the IP PIN before applying:

  • The Get an IP PIN tool will be available in mid-January. This is the preferred method of obtaining an IP PIN and the only one that immediately reveals the PIN to the taxpayer.
  • Taxpayers who want to voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program do not need to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
  • The IP PIN is valid for one year. Each January, the taxpayer must obtain a newly generated IP PIN.
  • The IP PIN must be properly entered on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays. It is important that you provide your tax preparer with the assigned IP PIN.
  • Taxpayers with either a Social Security number or Individual Tax Identification Number who can verify their identities are eligible for the opt-in program.
  • Any primary taxpayer (listed first on the return), secondary taxpayer (listed second on the return) or dependent may obtain an IP PIN if they can pass the identity proofing requirements.
  • The IRS plans to offer an opt-out feature to the IP PIN program in 2022 if taxpayers find it is not right for them.

Important: If your PIN is obtained, it must be reported to your tax preparer. Failure to report your PIN will cause a rejection of your return, delays in reprocessing, and you could be subject to late filing penalties. It is imperative that if you retain a PIN, that number be kept in a secure place and given to your tax preparer promptly.

Please contact us if you have questions, or would like information on 2021 tax planning!

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