The IRS is now offering Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) to all individual taxpayers. Previously, the IRS only offered the PIN to those who had been a victim of tax return fraud. Now that the IRS is allowing taxpayers to voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program, it is allowing them to proactively defend themselves from tax fraud.
To opt-in to the IP PIN program, you must complete a rigorous identity verification process. The IP PIN is also available to spouses and dependents as long as they can pass the identity-proofing process. The IP PIN is only valid for one calendar year, and a new IP PIN will be mailed every year to the address on file. It is best to apply for the initial IP PIN from mid-January to mid-November when the system is available.
Start at the IRS Get an IP PIN website. On this website, if you do not already have one, you will create an IRS.gov account to validate your identity. You will need the following information to confirm your identity:
- Full Name
- Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number
- Tax filing status
- Current address
After you obtain your IP PIN, please provide the information to your trusted Anderson ZurMuehlen tax professional, as this information will be needed to electronically file your return. Do not share your IP PIN with anyone other than your Anderson ZurMuehlen tax professional. To help you identify potential scams, it is important to note the IRS will not ask for your IP PIN by phone call, email, or text message.
While it is important to protect your tax return identity, we also want to highlight additional tips you can use to protect your identity:
- Monitor your credit reports and report any inaccuracies or potential fraud
- Do not provide your Social Security number unless it is essential
- Secure your Wi-Fi network with a password
- Avoid using unsecured websites
- Avoid providing personal information to unsolicited communications
In addition to our tax services, our technology services division provides IT Security Assessments to identify potential risks within your organization. The IT Security Assessment will allow your organization to mitigate risk and strengthen the security of your electronic communications and operations.
Your Anderson ZurMuehlen professionals are pleased to be a resource to you. If you have any questions regarding your Tax Identity Protection PIN, please contact us.
This article was written by Kendra Moran, a CPA and shareholder in our Billings office.