The IRS, and the Security Summit Partners have encouraged tax professionals to inform their clients about the IRS Identity Protection (IP) PIN Opt-In Program to help protect taxpayers against tax related identity theft. The IP PIN Opt-In Program has been made available to all individuals capable of verifying their identity. The IRS has also highlighted key information that taxpayers need to know about the IP PIN Opt-In Program, namely:
- 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; 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.
Further, if taxpayers are unable to validate their identity and their income is less than $ 72,000, they can file Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, upon which the IRS will attempt to verify their identities over a telephonic call and assign them an IP PIN for next filing season. Additionally, taxpayers can also get their identity verified by making an appointment with Taxpayer Assistance Center and carry necessary identification documents with them. The IP PIN process for confirmed victims of identity theft remains unchanged. These victims will automatically receive an IP PIN each year.