Previously, the IRS assigned Identity Protection (IP) PINs to taxpayers who were the victims of identity theft. However, the IRS has recently expanded its IP PIN program to be available to all taxpayers, not just those who have had their identities stolen. Confirmed victims of tax-related identity theft who have previously received IP PINs will continue to receive their IP PIN in the same manner. But, if you’ve never participated in the program before, it’s important to understand how the process works and how you can best protect yourself when filing your tax return.
IP PIN: What it is and Why You Need One
An Identity Protection PIN is an annual six-digit security PIN assigned by the IRS, which you will need to file your 1040. Without it, your return will be rejected. Giving a PIN to all taxpayers helps prevent tax-related identity theft by preventing anyone from filing a return on your behalf without your knowledge. The system can also help protect you from people filing a fraudulent tax return if your Social Security number is stolen.
Once you sign up for the IP PIN, you must include it on your electronically filed or paper filed return for your return to be processed.
Some important details to know about the IP PINs include:
- IP PINs are voluntary
- You’ll need to verify your identity during the application process
- You’ll need a new PIN each calendar year
- Provide the IP PIN only to your tax preparer. Do not share it with others.
- The IP PIN application tool is not available between November and mid-January
- IP PINs are available to spouses and dependents. They will undergo the same identity verification process.
How to get an IP PIN:
- Use the Get an IP PIN online tool
- You’ll need to create an account on IRS.gov or sign in to your account
- Verify your identity in your account
Taxpayers who would like to take steps to prevent tax-related identity theft should consider applying for an Identity Protection PIN for 2022. The program is voluntary, and you will receive a new PIN each calendar year. Contact Leone, McDonnell & Roberts today and speak to one of our professional tax accountants for more information.