Identity Protection (IP) PIN is a secret code that the IRS gives to Taxpayer. It helps them prevent any fraudulent identity thieves from filing tax returns using your personal identifiable information.
This article will address every question related to the IP PIN code that you may ask before applying for it.
Why is IP PIN Needed?
The Identity Protection PIN program was launched nearly a decade ago. Numerous cases of identity theft were being reported each year. It made it hard for the victims of Identity theft to file their tax returns. It eventually resulted in delaying their refunds. So, IRS launched an identity protection pin for nationwide victims of identity theft. However, in early 2021, IRS expanded the IP PIN opt-in program to all taxpayers in the USA.
Some Key Features:
1- It is a six-digit code
2- IP PIN Opt-in is a volunteer program
3- The validity of the IP code is one calendar year
4- New PIN should be obtained for each filing season
5- Spouse and dependents can also get their IP PIN after getting their identity verified
6- The six-digit secret number is only between you and the IRS
How does it Work?
This secret code is linked to your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. If you get an IP PIN, you must add it to your tax returns before filing. It helps you keep potential fraudsters from filing returns using your personal information.
For instance, if your identifiable information is compromised and scammers tries to file the return using your information, their request will be rejected instantly by IRS System. Because they fail to provide the secret IP PIN number that is only known to you.
It means that even if your information is stolen in any way, your IP PIN makes sure that you are on the safe side from the fraudulent elements.
Eligibility Criteria for IRS IP PIN
Anyone can apply for an IP PIN code upon fulfillment of the following requirements:
1- Must have Social Security Number (SSN)
2- Or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
3- Able to verify their identity
How to Get an IP PIN?
There are possible 5 ways of getting your IP PIN.
First, if you are a confirmed victim of tax-related identity theft, the IRS might have already assigned you this code.
In the same way, if you are experiencing a delay in filing your returns due to text identity theft, then IRS will give you an IP PIN code as soon as the issue is resolved.
Another way to get an IP PIN is to use an opt-in program. In January 2021, the IRS opened the door for all taxpayers to voluntarily obtain IP PIN codes to protect themselves from future scamming activities.
The easiest way to get your protection code is by using IRS online IP PIN Tool.
Information Required By IRS:
The following information is required while applying for your PIN code:
1- email address, Tax Identification Number, mailing address
2- Tax filing status
3- Financial account number that is registered on your name
4- An activation code sent to your smartphone registered to your name
If you cannot pass the secure access authentication, and your gross income is less than $72,001, you can submit a request by filling Form 15227 and sending it via mail or fax to IRS. Using this option, you will not get your IP PIN until next year. However, IRS will automatically mail you a PIN number each year.
Even if you cannot verify your identity online or through Form 15227, You can get code by making an in-person appointment with IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centre nearby you. You need two forms of identification, including the government-issued ID with your picture. After verifying your identity, IRS will mail you the secret Identity Protection code. The process will take a few weeks, and you will automatically get a new IP PIN code each year.
New Identity Verification Process
In November 2021, the IRS announced an improved version of the identity verification and sign-in process. The new mobile-friendly verification procedure can help taxpayers gain entry of existing IRS services related to Identity Protection Pin.
According to the new verification process, taxpayers must create an account on ID.me and verify their identification by furnishing verification documents and a picture taken from their smartphone or webcam.
Those who already have an ID.me account can use their existing credentials to access their IRS services.
IP PIN Opt-Out Option
Once you have obtained an IP PIN code, you are unable to discontinue it. Currently, IRS has not any Opt-out option that lets you quit the IP PIN verification requirement. However, there are some indications that the Opt-out program option will soon be available for taxpayers starting in 2022.
Some Precautionary Measures
As mentioned previously, the IP PIN code is known only to you and the IRS. You should not share this number with anyone except your trusted tax advisor. After requesting an IP PIN by mail, you may expect a phone call from an IRS representative to verify your identity. But they never ask you for your IP code.
Recently, some incidents have been reported in which scammers, impersonating themselves as the representative of the IRS, call taxpayers to verify their identity. They ask them for their IP PIN. IRS has clearly mentioned that they never ask for IP PIN when confirming the identity of taxpayers through a phone call. So, it will be best if you are beware of such phone calls.
In a nutshell, Internal Revenue Service introduced an IP PIN code to secure the taxpayers from being tricked by scammers. Hence, getting your IP PIN before you become another victim of tax return identity theft is more pragmatic.
If you want additional information and advice relating to the IP PIN code, then please contact your myNITS advisor as soon as possible.