In recent years, identity theft has invaded the lives of many tax payers as fraudsters have filed false tax returns and other schemes.
Top Recommended Tax Security Tool
The IRS and the US Government recommend that tax payers participate in the IRS Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to help protect against tax-related identity theft.
The Identity Protection PIN, also known as the IP PIN, serves as a critical defense against identity thieves. The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry want to let taxpayers know that IP PINs are now available to anyone who can verify their identity.
According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, these identity protection numbers provide an extra layer of safety to protect people against tax-related fraud tied to using stolen personal information.
In addition, the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee, an independent advisory group, says that the IP PIN is the number one security tool currently available to taxpayers from the IRS.
This tool is the key to making it more difficult for criminals to file false tax returns in the name of the taxpayer.
What You Need to Know about the IRS IP PIN
- It’s a six-digit number known only to the taxpayer and the IRS.
- The opt-in program is voluntary.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
How to Get an IRS IP PIN
For security reasons, tax professionals cannot obtain an IP PIN on behalf of clients. Taxpayers must obtain their own IP PIN.
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.
The IP PIN process for confirmed victims of identity theft remains unchanged. These victims will automatically receive an IP PIN each year.
Additional IRS IP Pin Resources
If you are unable to validate their identity online, check out this IRS resource.
There’s also a lot of helpful information on the IRS Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.
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