Taxpayers will soon have access to a resource to protect against tax-related identity theft and the potentially serious outcomes that come with it. Before the next tax filing, the IRS will roll out to each tax filer a six-digit PIN number, as part of its new Identity Protection (IP) PIN opt-in program individuals can use. Participation in the program is voluntary and includes the following features:
● The IP PIN should be entered onto an electronic tax return when prompted by any software being used by the filer or on a paper return next to the signature line.
● The IP PIN is valid for one calendar year. Taxpayers must obtain a new IP PIN each year.
● Only taxpayers who can verify their identities may obtain an IP PIN; and
● IP PIN users should never share their number with anyone but the IRS and their trusted tax preparation provider. The IRS will never call, email or text a request for the IP PIN.
The fastest way to receive an IP PIN is by using the online Get an IP PIN tool. If you wish to get an IP PIN and you don’t already have an account on IRS.gov, you must register to validate your identity. The IP PIN tool is generally available starting in mid-January through mid-November.
Taxpayers unable to validate their identity and who have an income less than $73,000 for individual or $146,000 for married couples, can file Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, which will trigger the IRS to verify the individual’s identity and assign a PIN number over the phone. Once verified, taxpayers will receive an IP PIN via the U.S. Postal Service usually within four to six weeks.
Taxpayers can also get their identity verified by making an appointment with the Taxpayer Assistance Center and carrying necessary identification documents with them. Once verified, an IP PIN will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service usually within three weeks. Like filing Form 15227, taxpayers will then receive an IP PIN annually through the mail.
The IP PIN process for confirmed victims of identity theft remains unchanged. These victims will automatically receive an IP PIN each year.
It is important to note that the IRS does not make personal PIN numbers available to professional accounting firms such as Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, so each taxpayer will be responsible for making decisions about participation in the program. You are, however, welcome to contact us with any questions.
Please contact Richard E. Morris, CPA, MST via our online contact form for more information.
Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell (CBM) is a professional services firm delivering tax, accounting and business advisory expertise throughout the Mid-Atlantic region from offices in Bethesda, MD and Washington, DC.