Taxpayers should obtain Identity Protection PIN each year for tax filing security
In an effort to provide enhanced security to federal income taxpayers, the IRS is offering a voluntary, opt-in Identity Protection (IP) program for taxpayers. The PIN is a six-digit number known only to the taxpayer and the IRS and prevents someone else from filing a tax return using a fraudulent Social Security number. The IP PIN should be entered onto the electronic tax return when prompted by the software product or onto a paper return next to the signature line and is only valid for one calendar year; taxpayers must obtain a new IP PIN each year.
Currently, taxpayers may obtain an IP PIN for 2021, which should be used when filing any federal tax returns during the year. New IP PINs will be available starting in January 2022.
To obtain an IP PIN, the best option is the Get an IP PIN, the IRS online tool. Taxpayers must validate their identities through Secure Access authentication to access the tool and their IP PIN. Before attempting this rigorous process, see Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools. The tool is offline between November and January.
If you are unable to validate your identity online and if your income is $72,000 or less, you may file Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number PDF. The IRS will call the telephone number provided on Form 15227 to validate your identity. However, for security reasons, the IRS will assign an IP PIN for the next filing season. The IP PIN cannot be used for the current filing season.
Taxpayers who cannot validate their identities online, or on the phone with an IRS employee after submitting a Form 15227, or who are ineligible to file a Form 15227 may call the IRS to make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. They will need to bring one picture identification document and another identification document to prove their identity. Once verified, the taxpayer will receive an IP PIN via U.S. Postal Service within three weeks.
The IP PIN process for confirmed victims of identity theft remains unchanged. These victims will automatically receive an IP PIN each year. Even if a thief already has filed a fraudulent return, an IP PIN will still offer protections for later years and prevent taxpayers from being repeat victims of tax-related identity theft.
Taxpayers should share their IP PIN only with their trusted tax prep provider. Tax professionals should never store clients’ IP PINs on computer systems. Also, the IRS will never call, email or text either taxpayers or tax preparers to request the IP PIN.
Tax preparers like the professionals at ShindelRock cannot obtain an IP PIN for clients, but if you have questions as you complete the process, please do contact us.